The role of flagella and bacterial motility in virulence of Salmonella
Many pathogenic bacteria, including Salmonella typhimurium, are motile during a period of their life cycle to allow the bacterium to reach a preferred site of colonization. Salmonella swims through liquid environments by rotating a rigid, helical organelle, the flagellum. The flagellum enables bacteria to chemotactically swim towards nutrients and away from harmful substances.
However, the role of flagella and bacterial motility during the Salmonella infection process is complex and little understood.
In this project, we will elucidate the effects of altered motility on virulence of Salmonella. In addition, we will analyze the complex regulatory cross-talk between the flagellar and virulence systems that ensures optimal gene expression of both the flagellar and virulence systems at specific points of the infection cycle.