About the Project
In our previous studies, we identified neocarazostatin A, from the soil bacterium Streptomyces sp. MA37. Bioinformatics analysis, whole pathway expression and gene deletion confirmed that legonmycins originate from tryptophan, acetate and pyruvate as substrates. We further discovered the three new enzymes involved in the carbazole pathway.
Blast search allowed identification of a group (approx. 11) of gene clusters which share high sequence identity (60-80%) to the genes in the neocarazostatin biosynthesis. It is likely that these strains have the potential to produce CA-like metabolites. Furthermore, analysis of the genes in the close proximity of these orfs suggested that these identified gene clusters encode completely different sets of tailoring enzymes that were predicted to modify the CA ring system. Therefore, these bacteria may have potential to produce new CA-like metabolites with structural diversity.
Research objectives: 1. Metabolic profiling of the extracts from these cultures to identify the potential producer of new CAs. 2. Identification and isolation of these unknown CA-like compounds for structural elucidation; 3. Development of genetic method to confirm the identity of the identified gene cluster in these bacterial strains. 4. Characterization of novel tailoring enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of these CA-like metabolites.
The successful candidate should have (or expect to have) a UK Honours Degree (or equivalent) at 2.1 or above in Organic chemistry, microbiology or biochemistry or bioorganic chemistry.
Knowledge: This is a cross-disciplinary project involving elements of organic chemistry, molecular biology and protein chemistry. In this project, you will gain experience in chemical synthesis of small molecules, cloning genes for heterologous expression, as well as using the purified enzymes to carry out biotransformation reactions. You will learn chemical characterization by LC-MS and NMR analyses. You will gain experience in organic chemistry, microbiology, molecular biology as well as protein chemistry.
This project is advertised in relation to the research areas of the discipline of Chemistry. Formal applications can be completed online: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/postgraduate/apply. You should apply for PhD in Chemistry, to ensure that your application is passed to the correct College for processing. NOTE CLEARLY THE NAME OF THE SUPERVISOR and EXACT PROJECT TITLE ON THE APPLICATION FORM.
Informal inquiries can be made to Dr Deng ([Email Address Removed]) with a copy of your curriculum vitae and cover letter. All general enquiries should be directed to the Graduate School Admissions Unit ([Email Address Removed]).
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