Coordinators: D.W. Heermann, M. Salmhofer, U. Schwarz, M. Haverkort

Thursdays 14-16 o'clock
Institute for Theoretical Physics
Seminar Room
Philosophenweg 19

Winter Term 2018/2019 Schedule


  • Thus 29. 11. 2019   at 14 c.t.
    Silke Bergeler, LMU München
    A Protein Flux-based Mechanism for Midcell Sensing in Bacteria

    Intracellular positioning of proteins is important for several vital processes in bacterial cells, including chromosome segregation and cell division. Positioning is typically achieved by protein systems incorporating an ATPase that switches between ADP- and ATP-bound states. In this talk, I will first give a brief overview on protein positioning systems in bacterial cells. Then, I will focus on a specific protein system in the bacterium Myxococcus xanthus that localizes the cell division plane at midcell. In this bacterium, a protein cluster is formed on the chromosome that performs a biased random walk to midcell and positively regulates cell division there [1]. An ATPase, PomZ, is crucial for the cluster dynamics. I will discuss how this protein system can be mathematically described in terms of a stochastic model and reaction-diffusion equations to elucidate on which parameters midcell positioning depends on. A mechanism that involves the fluxes of the ATPase PomZ on the chromosome and the elasticity of the chromosome can explain the experimentally observed cluster dynamics. Interestingly, midcell localization of the cluster turns into oscillatory cluster movement when reducing the diffusion constant of PomZ on the chromosome in our simulations [2].

    1. [1] D. Schumacher, S. Bergeler, A. Harms, J. Vonck, S. Huneke-Vogt, E. Frey and L. Søgaard-Andersen, Dev. Cell 41, 299-314 (2017)
    2. [2] S. Bergeler and E. Frey, PLoS Comp. Biol. 14(8), e1006358 (2018)
  • Thu 10.01.19   at 14 c.t.
    Uwe Thiele   University of Münster
    Gradient dynamics models for films of complex fluids and beyond - dewetting, line deposition and biofilms

    After briefly reviewing a number of experiments on dewetting and evaporating thin films/drops of simple and complex liquids, I introduce the concept of a gradient dynamics description of the evolution of interface-dominated films and drops on solid substrates. First, the case of films/drops of simple non-volatile liquid is discussed, and illustrated with results on droplet patterns and sliding droplets. As a further example, the diffusion equation is formulated as a gradient dynamics. The obtained elements are combined into a thermodynamically consistent gradient dynamics formulation for films of mixtures and surfactant suspensions [1,2]. Next, such models are employed to investigate the out-of-equilibrium process of the deposition of line patterns at receding contact lines for evaporatively dewetting solutions/suspensions [3] and in Langmuir Blodgett transfer [4]. Finally, I discuss how to combine the presented thin-film dynamics with bioactive elements to obtain models for the osmotic spreading of biofilms growing on moist agars [5]. I conclude with a summary and outlook.

    1. [1] U. Thiele, D. Todorova, H. Lopez, Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 117801 (2013)
    2. [2] Thiele, U.; Archer, A.Pismen, L., Phys. Rev. Fluids 1, 083903 (2016).
    3. [3] U. Thiele, Advances in Colloid and Interface Science 206, 399-413 (2014).
    4. [4] M.H. Köpf and U. Thiele, Nonlinearity 27, 2711-2734 (2014).
    5. [5] Trinschek, S.; John, K.; Lecuyer, S., Thiele, U., Phys. Rev. Lett. 119, 078003 (2017).
    6. [6] Trinschek, S.; John, K. Thiele, U., Soft Matter 14, 4464-4476 (2018)

Confirmed for the Summer Term 2019:

  • Koenraad Schalm, Institute Lorentz for Theoretical Physics, Leiden University (Mai 16, 2019)