Cell division in bacteria - Dynamics of the division ring

Adviser: Mario Feingold

advertised on Sun, 28 Mar 2021

Project description

Bacteria are the simplest living organisms. They can grow and divide leading to two daughter cells. The daughters are practically equal in size ensuring an almost equal partitioning of the material from the mother cell. The remaining inequality in the partition of materials leads to variability in the population emerging after multiple division cycles. Several protein networks control the symmetry of division acting both in the time and space domains. While most of the components of these networks have been identified, it is not yet clear the way and extent to which these are coordinated among themselves.

For the proposed project we will measure in live individual bacterial cells the joint dynamics of two proteins that are involved in determining the plane of division, FtsZ and ZapA. The proteins are genetically fluorescently labeled, one in green and the other in red, allowing to monitor their dynamics using fluorescence microscopy. The project consists of work with live E. coli cells that express fluorescent proteins, imaging the cells in a fluorescence microscope and the analysis of images with advanced image processing methods. We strive to obtain quantitative measurements from these images with precisions that bypass the limitation of the optical resolution.