Micro2X: Micropatterning of Microbial Communities - Tailoring Cooperation versus Competition

Microbial communities constitute a frontier of biological enquiry. Bacteria rarely exist as solitary organisms in nature but rather colonize their habitats in complex communities. Within these communities, microbial life is governed by the interactions of the individual members.

To increase our understanding of microbial communities and their interactions we aim at engineering synthetic communities for systematic analyses. To this end we will develop protocols for micropatterning of bacteria down to the submicron range.

We will employ the recently invented FluidFM technology to allow for single cell manipulation and therefore provide spatially arranged distances between individual bacteria. In addition to answering fundamental questions concerning known cell-cell interactions we will explore unprecedented means of micropatterning to test for novel interactions between bacteria.

Overall, we aim at describing causal relationships among bacteria which will ultimately help to establish next-generation systems microbiology towards global models of microbial community dynamics.
Ultimately, such models aim at predicting the outcome of community perturbations and will help to engineer beneficial complex microbial communities.

Keywords: Microbial Interactions, Communities, Micropatterning, FluidFM, Single Cell Manipulation



 Maximilian Mittelviefhaus

Maximilian Mittelviefhaus
ETH Zurich
Institute of Microbiology
Vladimir-Prelog-Weg 4
CH - 8093 Zurich

Phone: +41 44 632 36 57