Our research group studies development and differentiation of yeast colonies and biofilms. The project takes advantage from the close collaboration with the research team of Dr. Libuše Váchová (Institute of Microbiology of the CAS).
Yeast cells growing on solid surfaces form multicellular structures, colonies and biofilms, with typical morphologies and organization. During colony development yeast cells differentiate and form specifically localized cell subpopulations that perform particular tasks within the structure. Yeast colonies thus behave like primitive multicellular organisms, in that cells communicate, synchronize their development and differentiate into primitive "tissues". Cell differentiation often contributes to longevity of the whole colony population.
Current research includes following major ongoing lines:
- Development and differentiation of smooth colonies formed by laboratory and domesticated strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae
- Development and differentiation of colony biofilms formed by wild Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains
A new research line has been initiated recently that is focused on identification of selected differentiation processes in colonies and biofilms of pathogenic yeast and during interaction with host cells.
Helping with COVID-19 pandemic
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, our laboratory is working to develop a new method for rapid detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Compared to methods in current use, this method promises faster, more sensitive and safer detection of the virus in clinical samples, it is less demanding in terms of instrumentation and does not require complicated sample processing.