Our group aims at understanding key molecular and physiological determinants responsible for general stress resistance and longevity of non-growing bacteria, using the ubiquist pathogen Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium as a working system and integrative methods (microbiology, genetics, genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, biophysics and structural approaches). Our recent research focuses on the extensive membrane remodeling in quiescent cells and its impact on metabolism and resistance to antibacterial compounds.
The ability to quickly adapt to changing environmental conditions is crucial for growth and survival of bacteria in their natural environment. Common strategies that bacteria utilize to increase their survival and persistence under stressful conditions, including antibiotic treatment, are the entry into a non-actively growing state (quiescence). In the wide host-range pathogen Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) and other Gram negative bacteria, this temporary arrest of proliferation induces the expression of an alternative sigma subunit of RNA polymerase (SigmaS), which remodels global gene expression to reshape the cell physiology and ensure survival in various stress conditions and nutritional deficiencies. SigmaS is required for S. Typhimurium virulence and biofilm formation.