The Eldar Lab
Our main interest is in understanding the design principles of cooperative behavior in bacteria. More specifically, we focus on how bacterial communication (also known as quorum sensing) is involved in the regulation of cooperation. Our aim is to elucidate the impact of social structure, spatial form and phenotypic hetrogeneity on the development of cooperation and its evolution. We therefore combine tools from microbiology, genetics, molecular biology, microscopy and quantitative modeling to study the phenomenon of cooperation in simple and complex structures. Our main model organisms are the gram-positive soil bacteria B. subtilis and the gram-negative pathogen P. aeruginosa. These two organisms are major model systems of quorum-sensing and biofilm development, allowing us to use their superb genetic tools and vast knowledge base as a starting point for our investigation.