Which intracellular defense mechanisms protect E. coli against phage infection? at Københavns Universitet

Introduction:

E. coli is a highly diverse bacterium that may be a harmless commensal or a serious pathogen, causing a long range of infections. Its large diversity is resembled in the E. coli reference collection (ECOR). Due to the rising threat of antibiotic resistant bacteria, phage therapy targeting certain E. coli strains might be an important strategy. To efficiently use phages against pathogenic bacteria, it is essential to understand how phages bind and infect their host as well as how they can overcome bacterial defense mechanisms. By characterizing a small but diverse E. coli phage collection, it is possible to investigate phage binding and infection and identify novel phage resistance mechanisms in E. coliusing the ECOR collection.

Aim:

Characterize host range and receptor usage of an E. coli phage collection and identifying potential new phage resistance mechanisms in E. coli.

Your work:

By characterizing an E. coli phage collection, you will learn how to work with phages and its bacterial host. Using microbiological methods, you will analyze the phages’ host range and receptor usage.

You will also use bioinformatical and molecular methods to identify the bacterial resistance mechanisms and use cloning strategies to engineer phages to expand their host range. Furthermore, you will gain experience in working in a GMOII lab as well as an international research group.

Methods: E. coli cultivation, phage host range determination, bioinformatic analysis of bacterial genomes, molecular cloning

Contact: Professor Lone Brøndsted, lobr@sund.ku.dk

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