Research theme within the School of Biosciences: Microbiology and Infection
The Bacterial Chromosome and Gene Regulation
The length of a bacterial chromosome far exceeds the length of the cell. To accommodate it, bacteria use a number of physical mechanisms to organize, fold and compact the chromosome. Typically, the chromosome occupies the majority of the intercellular space, and the highly compacted nature means that some regions are accessible, and some regions are buried. How this organization impacts upon gene regulation is a major focus in my laboratory and we are using a combination of molecular microbiological, proteomic and ChIP techniologies to ascertain how different genes, at different locations within the cell, are accessed by the transcription machinery.
The Impact of Horizontally Acquired DNA
Horizontal gene transfer accounts for the vast majority of emerging antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Of particular interest in my laboratory is the acquisition of large conjugative plasmids, which carry resistance to multiple antibiotics. We are investigating the impact of transcription factors carried on these plasmids on the host transcriptome.