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Evolution of cell shape uploaded on bioRxiv
3 weeks 7 hours ago

Cell shape is a fundamental property in bacterial kingdom. MreB is a protein that determines rod-like shape, and its deletion is generally lethal. Here, we deleted the mreB homolog from rod-shaped bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens SBW25 and found that ΔmreB cells are viable, spherical cells with a 20% reduction in competitive fitness and high variability in cell size. We show that cell death, correlated with increased levels of elongation asymmetry between sister cells, accounts for the large fitness reduction. After a thousand generations in rich media, the fitness of evolved ΔmreB lines was restored to ancestral levels and cells regained symmetry and ancestral size, while maintaining spherical shape. Using population sequencing, we identified pbp1A, coding for a protein involved in cell wall synthesis, as the primary target for compensatory mutations of the ΔmreB genotype. Our findings suggest that reducing elongasome associated PBPs aids in the production of symmetric cells when MreB is absent.

Preprint on BiorXiv

Job opening at Depixus
8 weeks 3 days ago

Depixus is operating in one of the most dynamic and exciting areas of bioscience today. We are seeking highly talented individuals to join our teams based in both Paris, France and Cambridge, UK.

Technical excellence is very important but you will also need to be innovative, enterprising, and enjoy working within a close-knit team. The development of our technology requires scientists and engineers from a wide range of disciplines.

We accept resumes at all times; if you think you could help us then we would love to hear from you! For more information please contact: Positions that are currently open are listed below.

New post-doc positions
2 years 22 weeks ago

We are looking for biophysicists to study development and cancer in zebrafish using the optogenetic tools developed in the team. Experience in molecular/cell biology and microscopy are required. Basic programming skills (for image acquisition and analysis) are appreciated.  Candidates should submit their CV + publications and 3 letters of recommendation from kown researchers in the field to: