Dresden 2020 – wissenschaftliches Programm

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BP: Fachverband Biologische Physik

BP 18: Poster VI

BP 18.26: Poster

Dienstag, 17. März 2020, 14:00–16:00, P2/2OG

Motility of aggregated Neisseria gonorrhoeae cells influences cell death and response to antibiotic treatment — •Marc Hennes, Tom Cronenberg, and Berenike Maier — Institute for Biological Physics, AG Maier, University of Cologne, Germany

Like most procaryotic unicellular organisms, members of the genus Neisseriaceae polymerize hair-like appendages that protrude from the cell body. In the case of N. gonorrhoeae, the pathogen responsible for the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhoea, the so-called type IV pili (T4P) allow the cell to bind to surfaces and move on them through retraction, but also enable the uptake of extracellular DNA. Cooperatively, intercellular network binding by dynamic T4P-T4P interactions leads to the formation of spherically shaped cell aggregates which may fuse and deform like water drops and play a crucial role in the infection of host tissues. Here, we investigate the temporal dynamics of these aggregates at the single-cell level by tracking the positions and velocities of each bacteria. We find that bacterial motility inside the colonies is highly heterogeneous and sensitive to translation inhibitors, which hyper-motilize bacteria and homogenize their dynamics. Strikingly, we find that cell motility correlates negatively with the fraction of dead cells in the absence of bactericidal antibiotics, and positively in their presence.

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