Compaction and organization of animal symbiont chromosomes

The bacterial nucleoid is highly condensed and forms compartment-like structures within the cell. Although its dynamic organisation is being investigated, we ignore the importance of chromosome structure for adaptation to changing environments and, in particular, for symbiosis maintenance. 

In this PhD project, we will focus on the relationship between chromosome structure and chromosome function in Proteobacteria thriving on invertebrate and vertebrate animal surfaces. More specifically, we will analyse the 3D conformation of symbiont chromosomes, as well as their DNA methylation- and Nucleoid Associated Protein (NAP)-mediated compactness, and compare them among the different symbionts and among these and their free-living counterparts.

Student: Tobias Viehböck

Faculty: Silvia Bulgheresi (PI), Thomas Rattei

Funding: FWF project MAINTAIN


This Project is part of the PhD program in microbial symbioses:

Microbial symbioses in dynamic environments: Metabolic interplay and novel interactions (MAINTAIN)

Duration: 01.10.2019-31.09.2023

Funding agency: Austrian Science Fund (FWF)

Coordinators: Jillian PetersenMatthias Horn

Administration: Franziska Bauchinger