Dr Tobias Bergmiller
+44 01392 725160
Living Systems Institute T04. 09
Living Systems Institute, University of Exeter, Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4QD
Quantitative Single-Cell Microbiology
My lab works at a broad range of topics that touch on synthetic biology, antibiotic resistance and phage biology. We are using a suite of quantitative tools including bespoke fluorescence microscopy and microfluidics.
Physiological effects of sub-inhibitory antibiotic concentrations on bacteria
Antibotic resistant bacteria are of global concern. Bacteria frequently encounter low and sub-inhibitory (sub-MIC) antibiotic concentrations either in nature by anthropogenic emissions or during treatment. We are specifically interested in the interplay between bacterial physiology such as growth and gene expression and sub-MIC antibiotics.
Synthetic Biology and Bacterial Devices
We are interested in using latest synthetic biology tools to control biological systems in order to investigate biological processes. This includes the development of new bacterial devices and technology for live-cell imaging.
Tobias Bergmiller joined the Living Systems Institute in February 2019 as Lecturer in Biosciences. He gained his PhD at ETH Zurich in Microbial Ecology and Evolution and did his PostDoc at IST Austria in Vienna.
2005-2011 PhD (Molecular Microbial Ecology and Evolution) ETH Zurich, Switzerland
1999 – 2005 Diploma/Masters (Microbiology) University of Constance, Germany
2019 – present Lecturer in Biosciences, University of Exeter
2018 Parental leave
2011 – 2017 PostDoc, IST Austria
Research group links
Phenotypic Heterogeneity and Adaptive Responses in Bacteria
Binary fission of rod-shaped bacteria results in virtually identical sibling cells, which consist of the same genetic makeup. Despite of being extremely similar, such clonal sibling cells can differ from each other phenotypically and consequently display distinct behaviors. Unequal or biased partitioning of cellular constituents at cell division is one non-exclusive, yet little understood mechanism that can generate such phenotypic heterogeneity. My work is focused on directional inheritance of cell structures leading to non-random variability in basic traits or determination of cell fate, such as cell size, live span or response to antibiotics. My recent work focuses on partitioning of multi-drug efflux pumps in Escherichia coli, which are large trans-membrane- and trans-envelope protein structures that are at the core of innate resistance to many classes of antibiotics, thus complicating antibiotic treatment. Here, biased partitioning results in different degrees of antibiotic tolerance in individual cell lineages. To elucidate the molecular mechanisms that underlie partitioning, I investigate translation of trans-membrane proteins and complex assembly at the subcellular level.
- Partitioning of Multi-Drug Efflux pumps and its consequences for bacterial phenotypic heterogeneity
- Sub-cellular organization of trans-membrane protein translation and protein complex assembly
- Bacterial adaptation to low antibiotic concentrations