PhD thesis will be part of the project focused on studies of molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in development of yeast colonies and biofilms. Recent research has revealed new regulations in formation and dispersal of solid-liquid interface biofilms (npj Biofilms Microbiomes 6, 7, 2020; PLoS Genet 14: e1007495, 2018), and a new regulatory function of the Whi2p-Psr1p/Psr2p complex in the coordinated development of yeast populations by balancing cell cooperation and competition, important for community evolution and expansion of cells with beneficial mutations (PNAS 117: 15123, 2020). The PhD thesis will focus on identification of factors (co-regulators, metabolites) involved in interactions among cells within structured populations, interactions with the environment and expansion of cells with new properties within the structure. Spectrum of different approaches will include construction of knockout strains and strains with proteins labeled with fluorescent tags for in situ characterization of specific cell subpopulations using fluorescent and confocal microscopy, metabolite identification and genome-wide proteomics/ phosphoproteomics.

Five relevant publications of the research group: 

Maršíková J, Pavlíčková M, Wilkinson D, Váchová L, Hlaváček O, Hatáková L, Palková Z. (2020) The Whi2p-Psr1p/Psr2p complex regulates interference competition and expansion of cells with competitive advantage in yeast colonies. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 117: 15123-15131. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1922076117

Van Nguyen P, Plocek V, Váchová L, Palková Z (2020) Glucose, Cyc8p and Tup1p regulate biofilm formation and dispersal in wild Saccharomyces cerevisiae. npj Biofilms Microbiomes 6: 7. doi: 10.1038/s41522-020-0118-1

Nguyen PV, Hlaváček O, Maršíková J, Váchová L, Palková Z. (2018) Cyc8p and Tup1p transcription regulators antagonistically regulate Flo11p expression and complexity of yeast colony biofilms. PLoS Genet 14: e1007495. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1007495

Čáp, M., Štěpánek, L., Harant, K., Váchová,L., Palková Z. (2012) Cell differentiation within a yeast colony: Metabolic and regulatory parallels with a tumor-affected organism. Mol Cell 46: 436-448. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2012.04.001

Vachova L, Stovicek V, Hlavacek O, Chernyavskiy O, Stepanek L, Kubinova L, Palkova Z. (2011) Flo11p, drug efflux pumps, and the extracellular matrix cooperate to form biofilm yeast colonies. J Cell Biol 194: 679-87. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201103129

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