Institute of Medical Psychology

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francesca sartor

Francesca Sartor, PhD.

Post Doctoral Fellow


The central role of the circadian clock across the eukaryotic Kingdom has been extensively studied and characterised. On the other hand, whether non-photosynthetic bacteria possess a clock remains not only an open, but also an uninvestigated question. Non-photosynthetic bacteria are surely, just like other higher organisms, also exposed to daily environmental cycles. Wouldn´t they also then benefit from having a daily biological oscillator?

In order to answer this question, I am investigating endogenous rhythms in a non-photosynthetic, gram-positive bacterium able to sense light through photoreceptor proteins.


Goethestr. 31
D-80336 Munich

Phone: +4989218085650

Work group

Molecular Chronobiology

Further Information


Sartor F, Xu X, Popp T, Dodd AN, Kovács ÁT, Merrow M. The circadian clock of the bacterium B. subtilis evokes properties of complex, multicellular circadian systems. Sci Adv. 2023 Aug 4;9(31):eadh1308. Pubmed

Sartor F, Kovács ÁT. Rhythmic Spatial Self-Organization of Bacterial Colonies. mBio. 2022 Aug 8:e0170322.

Eelderink-Chen Z, Bosman J, Sartor F, Dodd AN, Kovács ÁT, Merrow M. A circadian clock in a nonphotosynthetic prokaryote. Science Advances. 2021 Jan 8;7(2): eabe2086.

Sengupta S, Ince L, Sartor F, Borrmann H, Zhuang X, Naik A, Curtis A, McKeating JA. Clocks, Viruses, and Immunity: Lessons for the COVID-19 Pandemic. J Biol Rhythms. 2021 Jan 22;748730420987669.

Sartor F, Eelderink-Chen Z, Aronson B, Bosman J, Hibbert LE, Dodd AN, Kovács ÁT, Merrow M. Are There Circadian Clocks in Non-Photosynthetic Bacteria? Biology (Basel). 2019 May 22;8(2):41.

Sartor F, Anderson J, McCaig C, Miedzybrodzka Z, Müller B. Mutation of genes controlling mRNA metabolism and protein synthesis predisposes to neurodevelopmental disorders. Biochem Soc Trans. 2015 Dec;43(6):1259-65.

Alrahbeni T*, Sartor F*, Anderson J, Miedzybrodzka Z, McCaig C, Müller B. Full UPF3B function is critical for neuronal differentiation of neural stem cells. Mol Brain. 2015 May 27;8:33.