Biotechnological applications with the world’s fastest bacterium
The marine bacterium Vibrio natriegens is the fastest- growing non-pathogenic bacterium known to date and is gaining more and more attention as an alternative chassis organism to Escherichia coli. A recent wave of synthetic biology efforts has focused on the establishment of molecular biology tools in this fascinating organism, now enabling exciting applications – from speeding up our everyday laboratory routines to increasing the pace of biotechnological production cycles.
To harness the full potential of Vibrio natriegens, our laboratory has recently developed a Golden-gate-based cloning system for this organism, serving as an ideal starting point to engineer V. natriegens into a novel host for ultra-rapid cloning, as well as for biosynthetic pathway construction.
In this project the successful applicant will explore the metabolic and biosynthetic potential of this organism, by introducing heterologous pathways for the bioremediation of pollutants, such as microplastics, and the bioproduction of valuable fine chemicals, such as antimicrobial peptides and other antibiotics.
- Develop the world’s fastest cloning system
- Deepen our understanding of the metabolic capacity of Vibrio natriegens for bioproduction processes
- Build heterologous metabolic pathways for the bioremediation of pollutants and/or bioproduction of valuable fine chemicals
As part of this project the successful PhD applicant will undertake:
- Molecular cloning
- High-throughput gene expression analyses
- Biochemical characterization of products
- Statistical data analysis
- Collaboration with national and international experts
- Presentation of scientific results
- Writing of scientific publications
- Vibrio natriegens: An ultrafast‐growing marine bacterium as emerging synthetic biology chassis
Hoff, J., Daniel, B., Stukenberg, D., Thuronyi, B. W., Waldminghaus, T. & Fritz, G., 14 Jun 2020, In : Environmental Microbiology.
- Engineering orthogonal synthetic timer circuits based on extracytoplasmic function factors
Pinto, D., Vecchione, S., Wu, H., Mauri, M., Mascher, T. & Fritz, G., 21 Aug 2018, In : Nucleic Acids Research. 46, 14, p. 7450-7464
- Vibrio natriegens as a fast-growing host for molecular biology
Weinstock, M.T., Hesek E.D., Wilson C.M. & Gibson D.G., 2016, In:
Nature Methods 13, p.849–851
In 2019 I joined the School of Molecular Sciences at UWA as ‘Be Inspired’ Senior Lecturer and group leader for Synthetic Biology. In our research, we apply bottom-up and top-down approaches to better understand and manipulate bacterial cells. This ranges from the design of synthetic genetic circuits to optimize the production of novel antibiotics, to the reverse-engineering of natural gene regulatory networks causing antibiotic resistance in bacteria.
- Volunteers interested in laboratory internships are encouraged to contact Dr Georg Fritz.
How to Apply
- To be accepted into the Doctor of Philosophy, an applicant must demonstrate they have sufficient background experience in independent supervised research to successfully complete, and provide evidence of English language proficiency
- Requirements specific to this project:
- Demonstrated experience in bacterial genetics is essential.
- Experience in metabolic engineering, bioinformatics and quantitative data analysis is desirable.
Submit enquiry to research team leader
- Contact the research team leader by submitting an Expression of Interest form via the button below
- After you have discussed your project with the research team leader, contact [email protected] to proceed with your application