Transcriptional regulation of calcium among animal and plant pathogenic bacteria studied in a microfluidic model system


Through an interdisciplinary collaboration among bacterial pathologists working in diverse systems, we will elucidate the molecular basis of the regulatory effect of calcium (Ca2+) on biofilm formation and virulence. Previous work by our groups have identified that Ca2+ regulates virulence traits of bacterial pathogens. To understand the basis of this regulation we will describe the whole transcriptome of plant (Xylella fastidiosa), fish (Flavobacterium columnare) and human (Staphylococcus aureus) pathogens in their response to increasing Ca2+ concentrations. We will study this regulation by establishing a versatile and novel model system utilizing microfluidic chambers (MC). The long term research objective of our team is to test the hypothesis that responses of diverse bacterial pathogens to Ca2+ are regulated by a genetic network that affects virulence. During this research we will identify genes transcriptionally regulated by Ca2+ using an RNA-Seq approach. The long-term applied goal of this research is to develop specific inhibitors for Ca2+-regulated proteins (identified via the proposed research) to use in human, animal, and plant disease management.

Diagram for IGP Grant

PROJECT Collaborators:

Covadonga Arias (School of Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Aquatic Sciences, Auburn University)

Peter Panizzi (Harrison School of Pharmacy, Auburn University)


Project funded by:

AU wordmark  AU-IGP (Auburn University Intramural Grants Program)