Metabolism, stress and biofilms
Metabolic versatility is one of the keys to successful colonization of different niches by bacteria. However, there is still relatively little information on the changes in cellular metabolism in multicellular populations compared to free-living cells. Understanding how metabolism is reprogrammed in biofilms and in turn how metabolic activity influences biofilm development, will be relevant for example to design new strategies for biofilm control, and can reveal some of the adaptation mechanisms involved in plant root colonization by bacteria.
Certain amino acids have been shown to influence c-di-GMP turnover. In P. putida KT2440, arginine uptake and metabolism modulate the levels of c-di-GMP and biofilm formation. We are investigating if there is a metabolic control of the synthesis or transduction of the second messenger, or if certain metabolism products may function as signals that determine the transition between motility and sessility.
We are also interested in the connection between biofilm development and stress tolerance, in particular oxidative stress.