We are currently advertising National Productivity Investment Fund Industrial CASE studentships with a deadline of the 16th July 2018.

02 / 10 / 2017

Chlorobithiol: The missing link in sulfur metabolism amongst green sulfur bacteria? (HAMILTON_U18DTP)

how to apply

Green Sulfur Bacteria (GSB), such as Chlorobium tepidum, contribute significantly to the biogeochemical cycling of sulfur and are also a potential source of biomass for biofuels. They are anaerobic, anoxygenic phototrophs that are widely distributed in aquatic environments, where anoxic layers containing reduced sulfur compounds are exposed to light. Unlike plants, they perform anoxygenic photosynthesis by the oxidation of reduced sulfur compounds (sulfide, elemental sulfur and thiosulfate) to feed electrons into their photosynthetic electron transport chain. However little is yet know about how these sulfur nutrients and metabolites are trafficked in and out of the cells and between the dissimilatory sulfur metabolism pathways in these microorganisms.

Using C. tepidum as a model organism, this PhD project aims to unravel the biosynthesis and metabolic roles of a recently discovered GSB thiol cofactor (Chlorobithiol) in sulfur and polysulfide metabolism.

The project offers extensive interdisciplinary training and research experience in analytical biochemistry, microbiology, biophysical chemistry, and enzymology. There will also be an opportunity to spend 3 months working in the laboratory of Dr Tom Hanson (Delaware Biotechnology Institute, University of Delaware, USA) as part of this international collaborative research program.

The project is well suited for a student with a degree in the Biological Sciences or a related discipline.


[1] "Mechanisms and evolution of oxidative sulfur metabolism in Green Sulfur Bacteria" Frontiers in Microbiology, (2011), 2, p116.