The research project aims to develop integrated protocol for real-time monitoring of a cell motility and cell-cell communications of phytopathogen Xylella fastidiosa. With our recent developments on the selective organization of bacterial cells to the micro/nano scaffolds based on abiotic substrates (such as Au, InP and SU-8 thin films), we expect to explore biophysical studies on bacterial cell filamentation, bacterial - substratum interaction and subsequent biofilm formation. The research plan has two thrust areas: (1) link surface properties to cell surface motility behaviors prior to biofilm formation in the phytopathogen X. fastidiosa; (2) connect chemical signal inhibition to changes in X. fastidiosa surface motility. The experiments will be carried out in the microfluidic device to mimic the minimal environment that bacteria face in nature for the in vitro investigation of the bacterial behavior with the analysis protocols developed by the American group. Such studies can provide new perspective on complex mechanism of cell appendages such as type IV pili interaction with surface properties and chemical signaling associated with different stages of bacterial growth.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: