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: 01.10.2019-31.09.2024

Funding agency: Austrian Science Fund (FWF)

Coordinators: Jillian PetersenMatthias Horn

Administration: Franziska Bauchinger

A new PhD program in Microbial Symbioses will be funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) project MAINTAIN and the University of Vienna. The central theme, addressed in 14 interconnected projects, is studying how symbiotic relationships between microbes and other organisms evolved and function, and how they are maintained in an ever-changing environment. The faculty of the program includes PIs from the Centre for Microbiology and Environmental Systems Science, the Faculty for Life Sciences, and the Faculty of Chemistry. The program is coordinated by Jillian Petersen and Matthias Horn. 

Press release Medienportal UNIVIE