Date(s) - 06/05/2020
4:30 pm - 5:30 pm


Manage ‘thy’ room: Bacterial story of compartmentalization
Dr. Nilanjan Pal Chowdhury
Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany

10 million trillion trillion (10 × 1030), though the number seem outrageous, this is the predicted count of bacteria on this planet. Being distributed over the land and ocean, these uni-cellular organisms exhibit different modes of lifestyle, i.e., metabolizing various substrates for their energy in both oxic and anoxic conditions. As energy releasing chemical reactions are the heart of all living processes, ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate) remains life’s primary currency of metabolic energy. Since the early primordial earth, more than 3.5 billion years ago and long before the emergence of oxygen occurred, these uni-cellular microbes made their living from very simple organic compounds. While microbes employ multiple enzyme cascade to harness this energy currency from organic substrates, they have also developed very sophisticated “organelles” such as bacterial microcompartment (BMCs) to compartmentalize certain chemical reactions. BMCs can be regarded as ‘rooms’ like we find in our modern-day apartments, harbouring specialized gadgets (enzymes) to fulfil particular function or reactions. These BMCs are solely protein in nature and function to provide metabolic niche to certain classes of bacteria which includes enteropathogens like Salmonella and very recently found acetogen like Acetobacterium woodii.
Here in this presentation I will try to expand the knowledge on how bacteria harness energy from very simple organic substrates and while doing so, how they employ these modern sophisticated “organelles” like BMCs to sustain its living.