Bacterial Biofilms

Bacterial Biofilms

Prof. Dr. Knut Drescher

Research area

The lab focuses on understanding collective bacterial behaviors, using biofilm formation and swarming as model systems. Bacterial biofilms are surface-associated bacterial communities that are held together by an extracellular matrix. Cells within these communities are highly resistant to antibiotics and display strong phenotypic heterogeneity. Using microscopy, molecular biology techniques, and mathematical modeling, we study how bacteria form these complex multicellular biofilm communities, and how biofilms affect bacterial ecology. 

Main lab website:

Group picture, October 2019

Recent Selected Publications

Full publication list: 

F. Diaz-Pascual, R. Hartmann, M. Lempp, L. Vidakovic, B. Song, H. Jeckel, K.M. Thormann, F.H. Yildiz, J. Dunkel, H. Link, C.D. Nadell, K. Drescher (2019)  Breakdown of Vibrio cholerae biofilm architecture induced by antibiotics disrupts community barrier function. Nature Microbiology 4, 2136-2145. (abstract)

P. Pearce, B. Song, D.J. Skinner, R. Mok, R. Hartmann, P.K. Singh, H. Jeckel, J.S. Oishi, K. Drescher, J. Dunkel (2019)  Flow-induced symmetry breaking in growing bacterial biofilms. Physical Review Letters, in press. (abstract)

R. Colin, K. Drescher, V. Sourjik (2019) Chemotactic behavior of Escherichia coli at high cell density. Nature Communications, in press. (abstract)

H. Jeckel, E. Jelli, R. Hartmann, P.K. Singh, R. Mok, J.F. Totz, L. Vidakovic, B. Eckhardt, J. Dunkel, K. Drescher (2019) Learning the space-time phase diagram of bacterial swarm expansion. PNAS 116, 1489-1494. (abstract)

R. Hartmann, P.K. Singh, P. Pearce, R. Mok, B. Song, F. Diaz-Pascual, J. Dunkel, K. Drescher (2019) Emergence of three-dimensional order and structure in growing biofilmsNature Physics 15, 251-256. (abstract)

L. Vidakovic, P.K. Singh, R. Hartmann, C.D. Nadell, K. Drescher (2018) Dynamic biofilm architecture confers individual and collective mechanisms of viral protection. Nature Microbiology 3, 26-31. (abstract)

P.K. Singh, S. Bartalomej, R. Hartmann, H. Jeckel, L. Vidakovic, C.D. Nadell, K. Drescher (2017) Vibrio cholerae combines individual and collective sensing to trigger biofilm dispersal. Current Biology 27, 1-8. (abstract)

C.D. Nadell, K. Drescher, K.R. Foster (2016) Spatial structure, cooperation, and competition in biofilms. Nature Reviews Microbiology 14, 589-600. (abstract) 

K. Drescher, J. Dunkel, C.D. Nadell, S. van Teeffelen, I. Grnja, N.S. Wingreen, H.A. Stone, B.L. Bassler (2016) Architectural transitions in Vibrio cholerae biofilms at single-cell resolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113, E2066-E2072. (abstract)  


Go to Editor View