Little is known about the role of structure in interactions between different bacterial species during early biofilm formation. In the lab, we use the two bacteria species Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus to probe these interactions. Using optical tweezers to manipulate P. aeruginosa cells, we are able to create patterns with single-cell precision and observe how changes in this initial structure are reflected in the mature biofilm.
Pictures are of a seeded Pseudomonas cluster in a field of Staph at t=0 and t=6 hours after placement of Pseudomonas cells. Pseudomonas are shown in green and Staph in red.