Biofilm formation of Yersinia pestis on C.elegans

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Sponsor: J. Craig Venter Institute

Location(s): United States

Description

Bacterial Infections of C. elegans

Pathogens are not passive. In order to mount an infection, they exploit, subvert and manipulate their hosts in complex ways. We study bacterial infections of the model nematode C. elegans so that the host role can be examined with advanced genetic and molecular tools. The plague bacterium Yersinia pestis makes an extracellular matrix (biofilm) that covers the worm?s mouth and blocks it from feeding. We are analyzing Y. pestis mutants to understand how the bacteria make the biofilm. Simultaneously, we use C. elegans mutants that are resistant to bacterial adhesion to understand how the biofilm binds to the host.