ProjectNon-hereditary, contact-dependent molecular exchange as a prerequisite for bacterial multicellularity

Basic data

Non-hereditary, contact-dependent molecular exchange as a prerequisite for bacterial multicellularity
01/10/2022 to 30/09/2025
Abstract / short description:
Bacteria in nature reside in multispecies communities; however the molecular consequence of interspecies contact has been hardly explored. Furthermore, accumulating data indicate that neighboring bacteria exchange proteins and metabolites in a contact-dependent manner. This exchange elicits new phenotypes; yet the extent of this phenomenon is unrevealed. Here we propose to design dual-species communities, harboring Bacillus subtilis as the core bacterium, to study contact-dependent modulation of gene expression. This will be achieved by providing a global view of the transcriptome, proteome and phosphoproteome dynamics of the two interacting species. We expect to reveal the genetic program and signal transduction pathways involved in such an interspecies response. In parallel, we will elucidate the extent and the identity of proteins, trafficked between species, and reveal their common features, utilizing species-specific transcriptomic and proteomic labeling. Furthermore, based on our previous results, we predict that bacterial intercellular nanotubes, a mode of interaction that we have previously discovered, play a key role in these contact-dependent interactions. Accordingly, the impact of nanotubes on reprogramming gene expression as well as on intercellular RNA and protein trade will be deciphered by employing mutants deficient in their formation. This proposed project will provide the first comprehensive view of non-hereditary contact-dependent molecular events occurring during bacterial interspecies interaction, and will determine the impact of intercellular nanotubes to this process.

Involved staff


Faculty of Science
University of Tübingen
Department of Biology
Faculty of Science

Local organizational units

Quantative Proteomics
Interfaculty Institute for Cell Biology (IFIZ)
Interfaculty Institutes


Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany


Jerusalem, Israel

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