People – Mikhail Gelfand, Anna Belousova
Start date – June 2016
Mikhail Gelfand Projects
Comparative genomics of luminescence and other quorum sensing systems in bacteria
Quorum sensing is a mechanism by which bacteria estimate their density. They need it, because many processes make sense only when the density is large. These processes are diverse, from luminescence in some Vibrio species to biofilm formatin and pathogenesis. The main points in quorum sensing are synthesis of signal molecules, their release, sensing the concentration of these molecules, and transcriptional regulation of response genes mediated by factors from the LuxR family.
The goal is to characterize quorum sensing systems and response genes in bacteria. The steps are to understand the phylogenetic distribution of LuxR factors, to derive recognition rules (motifs) for the identification of TF-binding sites, to characterize quorum sensing systems and their physiological roles, to reconstruct the evolutionary history of these systems.