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The group has a strong interest in the events that lead to persister cell formation in the model bacterium Escherichia coli. Persisters are transiently multidrug-tolerant cells that have entered a dormant state and thereby escape antibiotic treatments. As soon as they resuscitate from dormancy, they are fully susceptible to antibiotics again. We aim to unravel the physiological state of persister cells and the mechanisms leading to persistence. We apply microbiological, genetic, and biochemical tools, and use high-throughput techniques for investigation of bacterial transcriptomes and proteomes. Learn more...



Berghoff BA (2021) Analyzing Persister Proteomes with SILAC and Label-Free Methods. Methods Mol Biol 2357: 149-159.

Edelmann D, Leinberger FH, Schmid NE, Oberpaul M, Schäberle TF, Berghoff BA (2021) Elevated Expression of Toxin TisB Protects Persister Cells against Ciprofloxacin but Enhances Susceptibility to Mitomycin C. Microorganisms 9: 943.

Edelmann D, Oberpaul M, Schäberle TF, Berghoff BA (2021) Post-transcriptional deregulation of the tisB/istR-1 toxin-antitoxin system promotes SOS-independent persister formation in Escherichia coli. Environ Microbiol Rep 13: 159-168.

Li S, Edelmann D, Berghoff BA, Georg J, Evguenieva-Hackenberg E. Bioinformatic prediction reveals posttranscriptional regulation of the chromosomal replication initiator gene dnaA by the attenuator sRNA rnTrpL in Escherichia coli. RNA Biol. 2021 Sep;18(9):1324-1338. doi: 10.1080/15476286.2020.1846388. Epub 2020 Nov 19. PMID: 33164661; PMCID: PMC8354599

Licht MK, Nuss AM, Volk M, Konzer A, Beckstette M, Berghoff BA, Klug G. (2020) Adaptation to Photooxidative Stress: Common and Special Strategies of the Alphaproteobacteria Rhodobacter sphaeroides and Rhodobacter capsulatus. Microorganisms. 2020 Feb 19;8(2). pii: E283. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms8020283.

Berghoff BA, Wagner EGH (2019) Persister formation driven by TisB-dependent membrane depolarization. In: Persister Cells and Infectious Disease; Lewis K (Ed.), Springer International Publishing

Edelmann D, Berghoff BA. (2019) Type I toxin-dependent generation of superoxide affects the persister life cycle of Escherichia coli. Sci Rep. 2019 Oct 3;9(1):14256. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-50668-1.

Spanka DT, Konzer A, Edelmann D, Berghoff BA (2019) High-Throughput Proteomics Identifies Proteins With Importance to Postantibiotic Recovery in Depolarized Persister Cells. Front. Microbiol., 06 March 2019 March 06; doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.00378

Berghoff BA, Karlsson T, Källman T, Wagner EGH, Grabherr MG (2017) RNA-sequence data normalization through in silico prediction of reference genes: the bacterial response to DNA damage as case study. BioData Min. 2017 Sep 5;10:30. doi: 10.1186/s13040-017-0150-8. eCollection 2017.

Berghoff BA, Wagner EGH (2017) RNA-based regulation in type I toxin-antitoxin systems and its implication for bacterial persistence. Curr Genet. 2017 Dec;63(6):1011-1016. doi: 10.1007/s00294-017-0710-y. Epub 2017 May 30. Review.

Berghoff BA, Hoekzema M, Aulbach L, Wagner EG (2017) Two regulatory RNA elements affect TisB-dependent depolarization and persister formation. Mol Microbiol. Epub 2016 Dec 20. doi: 10.1111/mmi.13607.

Müller KM, Berghoff BA, Eisenhardt BD, Remes B, Klug G (2016) Characteristics of Pos19 - A Small Coding RNA in the Oxidative Stress Response of Rhodobacter sphaeroides. PLoS One 11: e0163425

Berghoff BA, Klug G (2016) An "omics" view on the response to singlet oxygen. In: Stress and Environmental Control of Gene Expression in Bacteria; de Bruijn FJ (Ed.), Volume 1, Wiley-Blackwell Publishers

Peng T, Berghoff BA, Oh JI, Weber L, Schirmer J, Schwarz J, Glaeser J, Klug G (2016) Regulation of a polyamine transporter by the conserved 3' UTR-derived sRNA SorX confers resistance to singlet oxygen and organic hydroperoxides in Rhodobacter sphaeroides. RNA Biol 13: 988-99

Billenkamp F, Peng T, Berghoff BA, Klug G (2015) A cluster of four homologous small RNAs modulates C1 metabolism and the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex in Rhodobacter sphaeroides under various stress conditions. J Bacteriol 197: 1839-52

Remes B, Berghoff BA, Förstner KU, Klug G (2014) Role of oxygen and the OxyR protein in the response to iron limitation in Rhodobacter sphaeroides. BMC Genomics 15: 794

Glaeser SP, Berghoff BA, Stratmann V, Grossart HP, Glaeser J (2014) Contrasting effects of singlet oxygen and hydrogen peroxide on bacterial community composition in a humic lake. PLoS One 9: e92518

Hess WR, Berghoff BA, Wilde A, Steglich C, Klug G (2014) Riboregulators and the role of Hfq in photosynthetic bacteria. RNA Biol 11: 413-26

Nuss AM, Adnan F, Weber L, Berghoff BA, Glaeser J, Klug G (2013) DegS and RseP homologous proteases are involved in singlet oxygen dependent activation of RpoE in Rhodobacter sphaeroides. PLoS One 8: e79520

Berghoff BA, Konzer A, Mank NN, Looso M, Rische T, Förstner KU, Krüger M, Klug G (2013) Integrative "omics"-approach discovers dynamic and regulatory features of bacterial stress responses. PLoS Genet 9: e1003576

Mank NN, Berghoff BA, Klug G (2013) A mixed incoherent feed-forward loop contributes to the regulation of bacterial photosynthesis genes. RNA Biol 10: 347-52

Mank NN, Berghoff BA, Hermanns YN, Klug G (2012) Regulation of bacterial photosynthesis genes by the small noncoding RNA PcrZ. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 109: 16306-11

Berghoff BA (2012) Licht und Sauerstoff: wie Bakterien auf photooxidativen Stress reagieren. Karriere, Köpfe & Konzepte, BIOspektrum 18: 340-40

Berghoff BA, Glaeser J, Sharma CM, Zobawa M, Lottspeich F, Vogel J, Klug G (2011) Contribution of Hfq to photooxidative stress resistance and global regulation in Rhodobacter sphaeroides. Mol Microbiol 80: 1479-95

Berghoff BA, Klug G (2011) Small RNAs with a role in the oxidative stress response of bacteria. In: Regulatory RNAs in Prokaryotes; Marchfelder A, Hess W (Eds.), 1st Edition, Springer, Wien, New York

Berghoff BA, Glaeser J, Nuss AM, Zobawa M, Lottspeich F, Klug G (2011) Anoxygenic photosynthesis and photooxidative stress: a particular challenge for Roseobacter. Environ Microbiol 13: 775-91

Glaeser J, Nuss AM, Berghoff BA, Klug G (2011) Singlet oxygen stress in microorganisms. Adv Microb Physiol 58: 141-73

Nuss AM, Glaeser J, Berghoff BA, Klug G (2010) Overlapping alternative sigma factor regulons in the response to singlet oxygen in Rhodobacter sphaeroides. J Bacteriol 192: 2613-23

Berghoff BA, Glaeser J, Sharma CM, Vogel J, Klug G (2009) Photooxidative stress-induced and abundant small RNAs in Rhodobacter sphaeroides. Mol Microbiol 74: 1497-512