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© J.M. Ghigo (Institut Pasteur) and Brigite Arbeille (LBC-ME. Faculté de Médecine de Tours)
Colorized scanning electron microscopy of an E. coli biofilm developing on a glass surface

Congratulation to Christophe Beloin and Simonetta Gribaldo (Department of Microbiology) and Nadia Izadi-Pruneyre (department of Structural Biology) whose project “OM-LipAsy” will be financed by the Agence National de la Recherche in its 2021 Projet de Recherche Collaborative call.

Outer membrane lipid asymmetry in Veillonella parvula, an atypical diderm Firmicute

The outer membrane (OM) is an essential element in Gram-negative (diderm) bacteria. Its integrity is maintained by the control of lipids asymmetry via LPS and phospholipids transport by the Lpt and Mla systems, respectively. However, outside a few model organisms, it is unknown how this is achieved in most diderm bacteria. In this project, we aim at understanding these processes and their evolution by a powerful combination of experimental and bioinformatics approaches. We will use genetics/functional analyses to dissect the entire process for generation of OM lipid asymmetry in a new experimental model of the bacterial cell envelope, Veillonella parvula, an abundant component of the human microbiome and member of Negativicutes, atypical Firmicutes that strikingly possess a diderm cell envelope with LPS. We will complement these studies by a thorough evolutionary analysis of these transport systems across all Bacteria.