Understanding how multicellular bacteria divide


Every cell must divide to grow and to propagate. While most bacteria simply split in half, the decision when and where to divide is more complex in multicellular bacteria like the antibiotic producing bacteria Streptomyces. In fact, Streptomyces have two functionally distinct modes of cell division that lead to the formation of multigenomic compartments and unigenomic spores.

The aim of this project is to better understand how multicellular bacteria divide and to characterise a recently identified novel cell division protein in Streptomyces. Components of the bacterial cell division machinery are also attractive targets for novel antimicrobials. Hence, new insights into the formation and function of the bacterial cell division machinery could help in the development of new strategies to inhibit cell division in disease-causing bacteria.

We are looking for an enthusiastic student interested in bacterial cell biology and who is keen to develop skills in molecular microbiology, biochemistry and fluorescence microscopy.

The successful candidate will be based in the laboratory of Dr Susan Schlimpert in the Department for Molecular Microbiology at the John Innes Centre, a world-leading institute for plant and Streptomyces research. The student will have access to cutting-edge research facilities for bacterial genetics, live cell imaging and protein biochemistry, a vibrant graduate student community and a stimulating research environment.

Through the project and the range of training opportunities available at the institute the student will obtain excellent technical and transferable skills that are highly relevant for working in academia or industry.