Bacterial social interactions influencing Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm formation
Armbruster, Catherine Rebecca
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Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistically pathogenic bacterium that frequently co-infects with other bacterial species in a variety of diseases and has a propensity to form biofilms. Biofilms are dense aggregates of bacteria encased in a protective extracellular matrix that promote interactions between P. aeruginosa cells, as well as with other microbial community members. The goal of my doctoral thesis work in the Parsek and Hoffman labs has been to identify inter- and intra-species interactions that influence P. aeruginosa biofilm formation. In my dissertation, I describe novel inter-species interactions between P. aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus, as well as a division of the labor of biofilm formation among a population of P. aeruginosa cells. This work provides a glimpse into P. aeruginosa sociality and contributes to the growing body of literature detailing how bacterial social interactions drive the composition and function of biofilms.
- Microbiology