Berlin 2012 – wissenschaftliches Programm
DY 12.11: Vortrag
Dienstag, 27. März 2012, 13:15–13:30, H 1028
Pili-induced clustering of Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria — •Johannes Taktikos1,2, Vasily Zaburdaev2, Nicolas Biais3, David A. Weitz2, and Holger Stark1 — 1Technische Universität Berlin — 2Harvard University, USA — 3Columbia University, USA
The attachment of Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria, the causative agent of the gonorrhea disease, to human epithelial cells constitutes the first step of colonization. The attachment of N. gonorrhoeae to surfaces or other cells is primarily mediated by filamentous appendages, called type IV pili. Cycles of elongation and retraction of these pili are responsible for a common form of bacterial motility called twitching motility which allows the bacteria to crawl over surfaces. Experimentally, N. gonorrhoeae cells initially dispersed over a surface agglomerate into round microcolonies within hours. It is so far not known whether this clustering is driven entirely by the pili dynamics or if chemotactic interactions are needed. Thus, we investigate whether the agglomeration may stem solely from the pili-mediated attraction between cells. By developing a model for pili-taxis, we try to explain the experimental measurements of the mean cluster size, number of clusters, and area fraction covered by the cells.