The dynamics of microbial communities are ultimately shaped by the behavior of its members, that is, by the cellular decision-making of the individual bacteria.
New concepts and approaches developed within PriME allow us to better understand and predict the behavior of individuals and thus the properties that emerge at the community level.
A few key areas of study include the foraging strategies of marine bacteria on particle landscapes; how they find these particles and what determines how long they stay. We also focus on the phenotypic differentiation of bacteria in environmentally relevant scenarios, and its impact on community function. These, and many other studies of bacterial single-cell behavior, are enabled by powerful microfluidic arenas and analytical techniques developed by members of the PriME team.