Bacterial cell shape is physically determined by the peptidoglycan cell wall. Within this project we study the enzymatic remodeling of the bacterial cell wall using live-cell high-resolution microscopy. We study the motion of enzymes and other proteins such as the bacterial cytoskeleton MreB and the incorporation of new material into the cell wall. The dynamics and localization of these molecules informs us about their activities and the mode of cell-wall expansion. Experiments are combined with image analysis and modeling in order to deduce the underlying principle of how bacteria maintain and regulate their cell shapes.
Figure: Microscopy setup for single-molecule tracking.