Investigating Extreme Condition Microbiology

Condensed Matter lunchtime seminar

Investigating Extreme Condition Microbiology

  • Event time: 1:00pm
  • Event date: 14th November 2005
  • Speaker: Gail Ferguson (Structural & Molecular Biology and CSEC)
  • Location: Room 2511,

Event details

The bacterium Photobacterium profundum has been adopted as a model system to understand the molecular basis of cold- and pressure-adapted growth. Although P. profundum grows optimally at 28 MPa (15 C), it can grow over a range of pressures (0.1-70 MPa) and temperatures (2-20 C). We have been investigating how changes in the surface properties of P. profundum could be contributing to its ability to grow under pressure and/or in the cold. Additionally, since less than 1% of microorganisms from the environment have been cultured, the remaining 99% of uncultured microorganisms may possess novel DNA that when expressed in a culturable bacterium such as Escherichia coli, could confer novel properties upon the host strain. Thus, we have constructed 44,000 E. coli strains containing 40 Kb DNA pieces from unculturable seawater microorganisms and are currently testing these for novel properties. We have also started preliminary studies modelling bacterial biofilms on different surfaces. Bacterial strains form distinct biofilms that can be detected by either crystal violet staining of the bacterial cell wall or using confocal microscopy with fluorescently labelled bacteria. Ultimately, we plan to investigate how changes in the growth environment influences biofilm formation and stability.

About Condensed Matter lunchtime seminars

This is a weekly series of informal talks given primarily by members of the soft condensed matter and statistical mechanics groups, but is also open to members of other groups and external visitors. The aim of the series is to promote discussion and learning of various topics at a level suitable to the broad background of the group. Everyone is welcome to attend..

Find out more about Condensed Matter lunchtime seminars.