It is being increasingly realised that bacteria communicate and cooperate to perform a wide range of multicellular behaviours such as dispersal, foraging, biofilm formation, chemical warfare and quorum sensing. Such behaviours are of interest to molecular microbiologists, evolutionary biologists and ecologists which has led to a large research interest in the field of 'sociomicrobiology'.
Our group, based at the University of Nottingham, is interested in explaining cooperation, conflict and communication in microbes, and the implications for the evolution of virulence, disease and antibiotic resistance. We are particularly interested in chronic infections such as those found in non-healing wounds and the cystic fibrosis lung.
We are also interested whether we can identify new antimicrobial remedies from old texts (see the video).
Sociomicrobiology, quorum sensing, virulence, antimicrobial resistance
Recent lab papers
Darch, S. E., McNally, A., Harrison, F., Corander, J., Barr, H. L., Paszkiewicz, K., Holden, S., Fogarty, A., Crusz, S. A. & Diggle, S. P. (2015) Recombination is a key driver of genomic and phenotypic diversity in a Pseudomonas aeruginosa population during cystic fibrosis infection. Scientific Reports. 5: 7649.
Harrison, F., Muruli, A., Higgins, S. & Diggle, S. P. (2014) Development of an ex vivo porcine lung model for studying growth, virulence and signalling of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Infection & Immunity. 82: 3312-3323.
Pollitt, E. J. G., West, S. A., Crusz, S. A., Burton-Chellew, M. N. & Diggle, S. P. (2014) Cooperation, quorum sensing and the evolution of virulence in Staphylococcus aureus. Infection & Immunity. 82: 1045-1051.
Cornforth, D. M., Popat, R., McNally, L., Gurney, J., Scott-Phillips, T., Diggle, S. P. & Brown, S. P. (2014) Combinatorial quorum sensing allows bacteria to resolve their social and physical environment. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 111: 4280-4284.
Darch, S. E., West, S. A., Winzer, K. & Diggle, S. P. (2012) Density-dependent fitness benefits in quorum sensing bacterial populations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 109: 8259-8263.