Welcome to the AG Molecular Microbiology!

Research summary

Life has evolved diverse protein machines and bacteria provide many fascinating examples.

Flagella are the primary organelles of motility in bacteria and enable movement towards nutrients and away from harmful substances, a process known as chemotaxis. Flagella-mediated motility is also important for many pathogens – including Salmonella enterica – and allows the bacteria to reach the site of infection, facilitate host-pathogen interactions, and promote biofilm formation.

The bacterial flagellum is by far the most prominent extracellular structure known in bacteria and made through self-assembly of several tens of thousand individual building blocks. However, many questions concerning the regulation, organization and assembly of this remarkably complex motility organelle remain poorly understood.

We use a combination of genetic engineering, biochemistry and fluorescent microscopy techniques to understand the genetic regulation, self-assembly and protein export mechanisms of this fascinating nanomachine.

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Recent lab news

September 14, 2020

Structure of the flagellar stator unit in different functional states published in Cell! Great collaboration with the group of Nicholas Taylor at the University of Copenhagen.

See this link for the freely accessible preprint [Santiveri et al. 2020. Cell].

June 19, 2020

We are hiring! We have open positions (two ERC-funded postdoctoral researcher positions and one PhD position funded by the VolkswagenStiftung) to work on fundamental questions in bacterial cell biology. Application deadline is July 31, 2020.

See Jobs for details!

April 24, 2020

New paper in Nature Communications showing that posttranslational methylation of the flagellar filament contributes to adhesion of Salmonella Typhimurium to hydrophobic host cell surfaces!

December 18, 2019

Very happy and honored to receive funding for our project BacNanoMachine from the European Research Council! We will soon be hiring fully-funded 3-4 years PhD and postdoctoral reserachers to work on an ERC-funded project!

See news for details.

May 14, 2019

The DFG will co-fund the lab's new microscope! We are grateful for the support of the purchase of a cutting-edge stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscope! We hope that with this new superresolution microscope we can 'go where no one (at least not us) has gone before'!

Check out some example images.

September 6, 2018

Imke's paper on how the hook length of the bacterial flagellum is optimized for maximal maximal motility performance has been published in PLoS Biology! Congrats Imke!

May 1, 2018

A new paper how flagella synthesis is regulated in response to cell envelope stress has been published in mBio! Congrats Imke and Basti!

November 28, 2017

In collaboration with Kelly T. Hughes and David F. Blair at the University of Utah, we show that the secretion pore of the flagellar type-III protein export apparatus is formed by the protein FliP. Published in Molecular Microbiology!

August 3, 2017

Florian's paper on the role of FliO as a flagellum-specific chaperone has been published in PLoS Biology! Congrats!

June 14, 2017

The microbiota composition determines the susceptibility towards Salmonella-induced gastroenteritis. A collaborative work together with Till Strowig at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research. Published in Cell Host & Microbe!

April 18, 2017

Thibaud's paper on the mechanism of filament growth has been published in eLife! Congrats Thibaud!

AG Molecular Microbiology, Lab retreat Burg Rothenfels, May 2022