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Interaction Dynamics of Bacterial Biofilms with Bacteriophages

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 BIOFAGE project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the BIOFAGE project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "BIOFAGE" about.

resistant    single    first    members    life    population    termed    uncover    antibiotic    nature    combined    experimental    spread    function    biofilms    dynamics    bacteria    composition    cells    viral    designed    nothing    almost    image    engineer    genetically    methodology    promises    phages    dominant    track    scales    biofilm    altogether    urgent    moist    occupy    ecology    phenotypes    mechanisms    manipulate    structure    resistance    proximate    inside    susceptible    biological    strategies    combination    dwelling    fundamental    earth    physical    hosts    either    resolution    gap    tracking    insights    exposure    species    community    fill    light    interactions    combine    individual    force    parasites    enrich    communities    imaging    expression    microscopic    cell    mathematical    gene    modeling    determinants    lastly    bacterial    time    surfaces    microbial    varying    surprisingly    technique    generational    subtraction    phage    evolutionary    attack    mode    manipulating    spatial    environmental    mechanistic    motivate    sessile   

Project "BIOFAGE" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: Munich
postcode: 80539

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Germany [DE]
 Total cost 1˙494˙963 €
 EC max contribution 1˙494˙963 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-01-01   to  2021-12-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Biofilms are antibiotic-resistant, sessile bacterial communities that occupy most moist surfaces on Earth and represent a major mode of bacterial life. Another common feature of bacterial life is exposure to viral parasites (termed phages), which are a dominant force in bacterial population control throughout nature. Surprisingly, almost nothing is known about the interactions between biofilm-dwelling bacteria and phages. This proposal is designed to fill this gap using a combination of novel methodology, experimental systems, and mathematical modeling. We have recently developed a new microscopic imaging technique that allows us to image and track all individual cells and their gene expression inside biofilms. First, we will use this technique for tracking the population dynamics of bacteria and phages within biofilms at single cell resolution. By genetically manipulating bacterial hosts and their phages, and by varying environmental conditions, we will investigate the fundamental biological and physical determinants of phage spread within biofilm communities. Second, we will study how biofilms respond to phage attack on both intra-generational and evolutionary time scales, focusing in particular on proximate response mechanisms and the population dynamics of phage-resistant and phage-susceptible cells as a function of biofilm spatial structure. Lastly, we will combine our novel insights to engineer phages that manipulate the composition of biofilm communities, either by subtraction of particular bacterial species or by addition of novel phenotypes to existing biofilm community members. Altogether, the proposed research promises to uncover the major mechanistic and evolutionary elements of biofilm-phage interactions. This combined work will greatly enrich our knowledge of microbial ecology and motivate novel strategies for bacterial biofilm control, an increasingly urgent priority in light of widespread antibiotic resistance.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Anna Dragoš, Heiko Kiesewalter, Marivic Martin, Chih-Yu Hsu, Raimo Hartmann, Tobias Wechsler, Carsten Eriksen, Susanne Brix, Knut Drescher, Nicola Stanley-Wall, Rolf Kümmerli, Ákos T. Kovács
Division of Labor during Biofilm Matrix Production
published pages: 1903-1913.e5, ISSN: 0960-9822, DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2018.04.046
Current Biology 28/12 2019-06-13
2018 Lucia Vidakovic, Praveen K. Singh, Raimo Hartmann, Carey D. Nadell, Knut Drescher
Dynamic biofilm architecture confers individual and collective mechanisms of viral protection
published pages: 26-31, ISSN: 2058-5276, DOI: 10.1038/s41564-017-0050-1
Nature Microbiology 3/1 2019-06-13
2018 Ricardo Martínez-García, Carey D. Nadell, Raimo Hartmann, Knut Drescher, Juan A. Bonachela
Cell adhesion and fluid flow jointly initiate genotype spatial distribution in biofilms
published pages: e1006094, ISSN: 1553-7358, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006094
PLOS Computational Biology 14/4 2019-06-13
2017 Praveen K. Singh, Sabina Bartalomej, Raimo Hartmann, Hannah Jeckel, Lucia Vidakovic, Carey D. Nadell, Knut Drescher
Vibrio cholerae Combines Individual and Collective Sensing to Trigger Biofilm Dispersal
published pages: 3359-3366.e7, ISSN: 0960-9822, DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.09.041
Current Biology 27/21 2019-06-13
2017 Matthew Simmons, Knut Drescher, Carey D Nadell, Vanni Bucci
Phage mobility is a core determinant of phage–bacteria coexistence in biofilms
published pages: 531-543, ISSN: 1751-7362, DOI: 10.1038/ismej.2017.190
The ISME Journal 12/2 2019-06-13

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