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DNA replication, recombination and repair in Archaea

   School of Life Sciences

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  Dr T Allers, Dr E Bolt  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Additional Supervisor: Anita Marchfelder (University of Ulm, Germany)

Archaea are the third domain of life, alongside eukaryotes and bacteria. The machinery for DNA replication, recombination and repair is strikingly similar in archaea and eukaryotes. We use the halophile Haloferax volcanii as a model organism for archaea. Our laboratory has been pivotal in developing genetic tools for H. volcanii and we have used these to study how DNA replication, repair and recombination underpin genome stability in archaea. Surprisingly, we have shown that deletion of all replication origins from H. volcanii is possible and leads to the initiation of DNA replication by recombination. This project will focus on the interplay of homologous recombination with DNA replication.

The project will offer an exchange visit to the laboratory of our collaborator Professor Anita Marchfelder at the University of Ulm.

The University of Nottingham is one of the world’s most respected research-intensive universities, ranked 8th in the UK for research power (REF 2014). Students studying in the School of Life Sciences will have the opportunity to thrive in a vibrant, multidisciplinary environment, with expert supervision from leaders in their field, state-of-the-art facilities and strong links with industry. Students are closely monitored in terms of their personal and professional progression throughout their study period and are assigned academic mentors in addition to their supervisory team. The School provides structured training as a fundamental part of postgraduate personal development and our training programme enables students to develop skills across the four domains of the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF). During their studies, students will also have the opportunity to attend and present at conferences around the world. The School puts strong emphasis on the promotion of postgraduate research with a 2-day annual PhD research symposium attended by all students, plus academic staff and invited speakers.

Funding Notes

Self-funded PhD students or those applying for scholarships are invited to apply.
Home applicants should contact the supervisor to determine the current funding status for this project. EU applicants should visit the Graduate School webpages for information on specific EU scholarships. International applicants should visit our International Research Scholarships page for information regarding fees and funding at the University.


White M. & T. Allers (2018) FEMS Micro Rev 42, 514-26 “DNA repair in the Archaea – an emerging picture”

Ausiannikava D. & T. Allers (2017) Genes 8, 56 “Diversity of DNA replication in the Archaea”.

Stachler A., Turgeman-Grott I., Shtifman-Segal E., Allers T., Marchfelder A. & U. Gophna (2017) Nucleic Acids Res 45, 5208-16 “High tolerance to self-targeting of the genome by the endogenous CRISPR-Cas system in an archaeon”

Marriott H. & T. Allers (2016) Microbiology Today 43(2), 74-77 “Archaea and the meaning of life”

Hawkins M., Malla S., Blythe M., Nieduszynski, C.A. & T. Allers (2013) Nature 503, 544-7 “Accelerated growth in the absence of DNA replication origins”

How good is research at University of Nottingham in Biological Sciences?

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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