Senior Lecturer in Microbiology, University of Strathclyde, UK
Streptomyces Development. Cell division in streptomycetes is fundamentally different from other bacteria as it is inessential for growth. Despite progress on elucidating the regulatory mechanisms governing the onset of differentiation in streptomycetes, little is known about the mechanism of chromosome segregation. We are using molecular and microscopic tools to investigate this in Streptomyces. Although different phospholipids are abundant in the membranes of Streptomyces, their involvement in development is not known. We are investigating changes in phospholipid profile and gene expression during differentiation.
Understanding biosynthesis of tetracyclic antibiotics. In the commercial production of antibiotics, extensive strain improvement programs have been carried out. To identify the basis of strain improvement we have sequenced the genomes of four S. rimosus strains and are attempting to understand the genetic changes and biochemical bottlenecks by which carbon flux is directed away from primary metabolism towards oxytetracycline biosynthesis.