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Chromatin and regulation of bacterial pathogenicity

Disciplines Biologie
Research fields Gene expression, systems, transcriptomics, biophysical modeling, bacteria, chromatin, pathogenicity
Supporting organisms INSA de Lyon, CNRS, UCBL
Geographical location Domaine scientifique de la Doua - UCBL (LyonTech - la Doua)
Lab MAP (Microbiologie, Adaptation et Pathogénies)
Team leader William Nasser/Sylvie reverchon
In pathogenic bacteria, understanding of the concerted rearrangements of gene activities during transition from saprophytic to pathogenic life style is a fundamental problem. The various stages of the infection process can be considered as an array of successive environmental challenges to which the bacteria need to adapt. Most of the hostile conditions encountered by bacteria within host, including acidic and oxidative stresses, induce changes in DNA topology. Therefore, variation of DNA supercoiling state in response to environmental changes might serve as a signal triggering the virulence program and coordinating the global gene expression during the infection process. However, the mechanistic device of such coordination remains largely unknown. Our main objective is to decipher the impact of the structural-organisational features of the chromosome in adaptation of genomic expression to environmental stress in a model of phytopathogenic bacterium Dickeya dadantii. 

We are using a combination of the classical methods of microbiology, biochemistry, molecular genetics and physiopathology with transcriptomics, mathematical modeling and bioinformatics in order to integrate the genomic functional expression with chromosomal structural dynamics. The data obtained on D. dadantii will also allow us to compare the peculiarities of gene regulation by DNA supercoilling between the plant and animal pathogenic bacteria. The gained knowledge will substantially contribute to the progress in a range of fields concerned with fundamental problems of the bacterial gene regulation and its applied aspects (biotechnology, agronomy and biomedicine).