Bacteria have to adapt constantly to survive to environmental changes. Depending on nutrient availability, the gram-positive model bacterium, Bacillus subtilis, developed an arsenal of physiological strategies such as adjusting its doubling time and its size to cope with a less favorable environment. When nutrients are lacking, B. subtilis is able to incorporate exogenous DNA or to differentiate in a metabolically dormant and environmentally resistant spore to wait for better conditions. In the lab, we are studying how B. subtilis adapts to the environmental signals.
- We are deciphering the role of genes of unknown function for which a link with metabolism has been established, and which would regulate proteins involved in cell division or cell elongation. They can be named as metabolic sensors.
- In several bacteria, it was shown that Serine Threonine Protein Kinases are implicated in many bacterial processes comprising central metabolism, sporulation, cell shape. We are investigating the regulatory role of protein phosphorylation and we are studying how protein kinases regulate growth, division, morphogenesis…
- Bacterial small RNAs have emerged as ubiquitous post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression, able to target mRNAs with key roles in most aspects of bacterial physiology and rapid adaptative responses. We want to investigate sRNA-mediated gene regulation in the links between nutrient availability, cell cycle processes, competence and sporulation.