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Multiscale modeling of bacterial colonies: How pili mediate the dynamics of single cells and cellular aggregates

Pönisch, W.; Weber, C.; Juckeland, G.; Biais, N.; Zaburdaev, V.

Abstract

Neisseria gonorrhoeae is the causative agent of one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases, gonorrhea. An vital step during the infection process is the formation of microcolonies, agglomerates of up to thousands of cells. The assembly of these colonies is driven by type IV pili, filamentaeous polymers protruding from the surface of the colonies, undergoing cycles of elongation and retraction and forming bonds with each other and a substrate. Here, we present a computer model of individual cells interacting via each other solely by pili. This model allows us to study a wide range of processes, from the motion of individual cells and colonies on a surface, over the dynamics within colonies and how they drive the coalescence of two microcolonies, up to the self-assembly of cells.

Permalink: https://www.hzdr.de/publications/Publ-24105