Our recent research has uncovered new regulations important for the development and differentiation of spatially structured yeast populations (PLoS Genet 14:e1007495, 2018; npj Biofilms Microbiomes 6, 7, 2020; PNAS 117: 15123, 2020; IJMS 21: 3873, 2020), including the key role of the Whi2p-Psr1p/Psr2p complex in regulating intercellular competition (via the mechanism of interference competition) (PNAS, 2020) and novel regulations controlling cell coordination during population development (submitted). PhD studies will focus on identifying the molecular mechanisms involved in cell coordination/competition and cell differentiation/de-differentiation, in terms of determining yet unknown components involved in the recently identified regulatory pathways, the importance of specific domains of regulators and/or post-translational modifications of regulators, the regulatory role of selected metabolites, and others. The role of mammalian KCTD family proteins (structural orthologs of Whi2p associated with various pathologies) in colony interference competition will also be analyzed. The spectrum of different methodological approaches will include strain construction (knockout strains, strains containing proteins with fluorescent tags, etc.) to characterize specific cell subpopulations and their interaction in situ within colonies, gene cloning and site-directed mutagenesis of selected regulators, identification of metabolites, OMICS techniques (proteomics and genomics DNA resequencing), and others.

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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