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