This lab is focused on elucidating the mechanism of cell wall biogenesis and its role in bacterial physiology and diseases.
- Bacterial cell wall morphogenesis: Bacteria have a peptidoglycan cell wall which maintains cell shape and combats osmotic stress. Far from being static, the peptidoglycan is highly dynamic and bonds are continually broken and reformed to allow growth of the cell. Enzymes that cleave specific bonds in peptidoglycan are ubiquitous among bacteria and these enzymes are known as hydrolases. Although enzymatic properties of hydrolases are well studied, there is virtually no understanding of their spatial and temporal regulation in the cell and the goal of this study is to gain insight into the regulation of cell wall hydrolases. More specifically the lab is working towards understanding the temporal and spatial regulation of PG hydrolases using Caulobacter crescentus as a model system. Complete understanding of the bacterial cell wall machinery would aid in development of new antimicrobials.
- Bacterial Biofilms: The other area the lab is interested in is microbial interactions and the focus of the study is in understanding the microbial communities present in various environments. Currently, we are trying to understand the microbial interactions in periodontal biofilms. Our research is focused on elucidating the role of probiotic lactobacilli in inhibiting periodontal diseases. The lab is also studying the role of cell wall hydrolases in biofilm formation in pathogens such as, E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus.
- Microbial biodiversity and beneficial microbes: The other area the lab is interested understanding the microbial communities present in various environments. Currently, we are trying to understand and establish the bacterial communities present in aquatic and soil habitats. The Lab has recently identified and sequenced a new arsenic resistant bacterial strain Deinococcus indicus DR1 from Dadri wetland area.