University of Dundee

Dr. Megan Bergkessel

Regulatory mechanisms operating during bacterial growth arrest and persistence
Position: 
UKRI Future Leaders Fellow
Address: 
School of Life Sciences, Dow Street, DD1 5EH
Full Telephone: 
+44 (0) 01382 386464, int ext 86464
Email: 

Research

My laboratory is interested in understanding how bacteria, especially the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa, are able to regulate their activities under conditions that prevent active growth. Often in natural environments, including infections, bacteria encounter resource limitation that prevents them from being able to grow and divide. However, sensitive measurements have shown that they are still able to produce proteins at low rates under these conditions. The regulatory mechanisms that are involved are not well understood. Gaining insight into this regulatory context is important because non-growing bacteria are highly tolerant of antibiotics, and can contribute to chronic infections. Understanding how these non-growing, antibiotic-tolerant bacteria are regulating their low levels of biosynthetic activity could give us new insight into strategies to treat chronic infection and combat the rise of antibiotic resistance.

Publications

Bergkessel M, Cameron A, Coulthurst S, De Rycker M, Dorfmueller H, Hardee E, Houghton L, Floyd A, Fomina M, Gadd GM, Hsu C-Y, Kalamara M, Kang X, Mackintosh A, Mansoor S, Manthri S, Rosazza T, Stephenson K, Thomas J, Walker L, Stanley-Wall N. 2021. Images of Microbiology. Dundee: University of Dundee. 33 p. https://doi.org/10.20933/100001214

Bergkessel M, Delavaine L. 2021. Diversity in Starvation Survival Strategies and Outcomes among Heterotrophic Proteobacteria. Microbial Physiology. 31(2):146-162. https://doi.org/10.1159/000516215

Bergkessel M. 2021. Bacterial transcription during growth arrest. Transcription. 12(4):232-249. https://doi.org/10.1080/21541264.2021.1968761

Meirelles LA, Perry EK, Bergkessel M, Newman DK. 2021. Bacterial defenses against a natural antibiotic promote collateral resilience to clinical antibiotics. PLoS Biology. 19(3):Article e3001093. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.3001093

Bergkessel M. 2020. Regulation of Protein Biosynthetic Activity During Growth Arrest. Current Opinion in Microbiology. 57:62-69. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mib.2020.07.010