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Salim Timo Islam

Areas of expertise

Microbial biochemistry

  • Associate Professor

450 687-5010

450 686-5501


Armand-Frappier Santé Biotechnologie Research Centre

531 blvd des Prairies
Laval, Quebec  H7V 1B7

See the research centre

Research project for a Master’s student in Applied Microbiology or Doctorate in Biology :Contact-Dependent Communication and Coordination in Bacteria (PDF) Project DescriptionOur laboratory studies single-cell and group behaviours that are essential for microbial development.  We are particularly interested in contact-dependent communication and coordination in bacteria, including the role played by polysaccharides in these phenomena.  This research aims to better understand microbial antagonism and commensalism, particularly through study of the recently-revealed dynamic nature of the outer bacterial membrane and how it affects the detection of, and reaction to, external stimuli.  Research advances will ultimately aid in the development of novel control strategies for bacterial colonization and establishment in environmental and host backgrounds. Research Fieldsbiochemistry, microbiology, molecular biology, structural biology, genetics, optical & fluorescence microscopy, microfluidics, mass spectrometry



16) Islam ST*#, Vergara Alvarez I*, Saïdi F*, Giuseppi A, Vinogradov E, Morrone C, Brasseur G, Sharma G, Benarouche A, Bridot J-L, Ravicoularamin G, Cagna A, Gauthier C, Singer M, Fierobe H-P, Mignot T, Mauriello EMF#. 2020.
Modulation of bacterial multicellularity via spatiotemporal polysaccharide secretion.
bioRxiv (preprint).  *equal contribution, #corresponding authors


15) Tréguier J*, Bugnicourt L*, Gay G, Diallo M, Islam ST, Toro A, David L, Théodoly O, Sudre G, Mignot T. 2019.
Chitosan films for microfluidic studies of single bacteria and perspectives for antibiotic susceptibility testing.
mBio 10(4):e01375-19.  *equal contribution


14) Faure LM*, Fiche JB*, Espinosa L*, Ducret A, Anantharaman V, Luciano J, Lhospice S, Islam ST, Tréguier J, Sotes M, Kuru E, Van Nieuwenhze MS, Brun Y, Théodoly O, Aravind L, Nollmann M, Mignot T. 2016.
The mechanism of force transmission at bacterial focal adhesion complexes. Nature 539(7630):530-535.  *equal contribution


13) Islam ST and Mignot T. 2015.
The mysterious nature of bacterial surface (gliding) motility: a focal adhesion-based mechanism in Myxococcus xanthus.
Semin. Cell Dev. Biol. 46:143-154 [Citations: 6]



12) Islam ST and Lam JS. 2014.
Synthesis of bacterial polysaccharides via the Wzx/Wzy-dependent pathway. C
an. J. Microbiol.
60(11):697-716 ♦ Submission invited as part of 2013 Armand-Frappier Outstanding Student Gold Medal Award ♦ Among the “Most Frequently Read Articles” of the journal since Nov. 2014 [Citations: 32]



11) Islam ST, Huszczynski SM, Nugent T, Gold AC, Lam JS.  2013.
Conserved-residue mutations in Wzy affect O-antigen polymerization and Wzz-mediated chain-length regulation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1.
Sci. Rep. 3:3441. [Citations: 13]


10) Islam ST, Eckford PD, Jones M, Bear CE, Vogel C, Lam JS. 2013.
Proton-dependent gating and proton uptake by Wzx support O-antigen-subunit antiport across the bacterial inner membrane.
mBio 4(5):e00678-13 [Citations: 18] ♦ Highlighted by Faculty of 1000


9) Taylor VL, Udaskin M, Islam ST, Lam JS.  2013.
The D3 bacteriophage α-polymerase-inhibitor (Iap) peptide disrupts O-antigen biosynthesis through mimicry of the chain length regulator Wzz in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
J. Bacteriol. 195(20):4735-4741 [Citations: 12]


8) Islam ST and Lam JS. 2013.
Topological mapping methods for α-helical bacterial membrane proteins — an update and a guide.
MicrobiologyOpen 2(2):350-364 [Citations: 10] ♦ Top Article selection by Editor-in-Chief


7) Islam ST and Lam JS. 2013.
Wzx flippase-mediated membrane translocation of sugar polymer precursors in bacteria.
Environ. Microbiol. 15(4):1001-1015 [Citations: 40]



6) Islam ST, Fieldhouse RJ, Anderson EM, Taylor VL, Keates RAB, Ford RC, Lam JS. 2012.
A cationic lumen in the Wzx flippase mediates anionic O-antigen subunit translocation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1.
Mol. Microbiol. 84(6):1165-1176 [Citations: 26] ♦ Highlighted by Faculty of 1000



5) Lam JS, Taylor VL, Islam ST, Hao Y, Kocíncová D.  2011.
Genetic and functional diversity of Pseudomonas aeruginosa lipopolysaccharide.
Front. Microbiol. 2(118):1-25 [Citations: 69]


4) Islam ST, Gold AC, Taylor VL, Anderson EM, Ford RC, Lam JS. 2011.
Dual conserved periplasmic loops possess essential charge characteristics that support a catch-and-release mechanism of O-antigen polymerization by Wzy in Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1.
J. Biol. Chem. 286(23):20600-20605 [Citations: 27]



3) Islam ST, Taylor VL, Qi M, Lam JS. 2010. Membrane topology mapping of the O-antigen flippase (Wzx), polymerase (Wzy), and ligase (WaaL) from Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 reveals novel domain architectures.
mBio 1(3):e00189-10 [Citations: 45] ♦ Highlighted by Faculty of 1000



2) Chen JM, Islam ST, Ren H, Liu J. 2007. Differential productions of lipid virulence factors among BCG vaccine strains and implications on BCG safety.
Vaccine 25(48):8114-22 [Citations: 39]

1) Ren H, Dover LG, Islam ST, Alexander DC, Chen JM, Besra GS, Liu J. 2007. Identification of the lipooligosaccharide biosynthetic gene cluster from Mycobacterium marinum. Mol. Microbiol. 63(5):1345-59 [Citations: 55]



Islam ST. 2013. Structural and functional characterization of O-antigen translocation and polymerization in Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1. — Ph.D. thesis in Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Guelph. [Citations: 1]