• Microbiology and Plant Biology

    Microbiology and Plant Biology


McMaster University will continue to host undergraduate academic activities remotely for the Spring/Summer/Intersession term with only a few exceptions for courses that need student access to specialized equipment.

Research in the areas of microbiology and plant biology involves systems-level investigations into the genetics, biochemistry and physiology of plants, bacteria and fungi. Our studies take advantage of technological advances in genome sequencing, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics, and address fundamental questions related to infectious disease (both human and plant), stress tolerance, and symbiotic relationships. The labs in this area provide outstanding training opportunities for motivated post-doctoral fellows, graduate students and undergraduates.

Marie Elliot
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Professor, Department Chair, Faculty of Science Research Chair
LSB 329
(905) 525-9140 ext. 24225

Development in multicellular bacteria; Regulation by small RNAs; Antibiotic production The goal of our research is to understand development and regulation in multicellular bacteria, using Streptomyces coelicolor as our model system. The streptomycetes are extremely important to the pharmaceutical industry as they make a large number of ?secondary metabolites? having a profound medical benefit, including anti-cancer agents, immunosuppressants, and the majority of clinically useful antibiotics. They are also unusual in that they have a complex, multicellular life cycle and are capable of differentiating into distinct tissue types. Intriguingly, this differentiation process coincides with the production of secondary metabolites. One aspect of our research is focused on understanding the components necessary for differentiation, and centres on a novel family of proteins, termed the chaplins, that are essential for the transition from one differentiated state to another. We are also interested in the regulatory networks that control differentiation, metabolism, and environmental adaptation in S. coelicolor, and are focussing on a newly emerging, and universally important, class of regulators known as the small RNAs.

Bioinformatics & Functional Genomics; Genetics & Molecular Biology; Microbiology & Plant Biology

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