Genetics and dynamics of staphylococcal persister cells

Bacterial persister cells constitute a phenotypic heterogeneous subpopulation encompassing antibiotic tolerant dormant cells within a common isogenic culture. We aim to study Staphylococcus persisters with a focus on S. aureus. Different strains and mutants will be analyzed in regard to population dynamics and genetic factors associated with persister cells. Strains affected in toxin-antitoxin systems or further suspect persister genes will be challenged with different antimicrobial compounds to isolate persisters for downstream analyses. Time lapse microscopy can facilitate tracking persister formation on the single cell level and cultivation of cells in microfluidic devices allows a repeated change between selective or non-selective media to also explore parameters of persister-resuscitation. Aided by gene expression profiling data and quantitative information on persister-protein abundance, we aim to establish biomathematical models for bacterial persisters.


Contact details:
PD Dr. Ralph Bertram
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
Interfakultäres Institut für Mikrobiologie und Infektionsmedizin
Lehrbereich Mikrobielle Genetik
Waldhäuser Str. 70/8
D-72076 Tübingen
Tel.: +49-(0)7071-29-75934
Fax.: +49-(0)7071-29-5937
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  • Funded from SPP1617: Lukas Mechler (PhD student)
  • Funded from other sources: Marcel Prax (PhD student), Raphaela Künzel (technician)