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Gliding motility in bacteria

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Motility is important for bacterial survival and facilitates colonisation and dispersal of bacteria. While swimming and type IV pili-based swarming is relatively well understood, gliding or adventurous motility, a form of surface-associated motility is still enigmatic. Gliding myxobacteria leave like most gliders a trail of slime behind that plays an important role in motility. The project involves the characterisation (super resolution light microscopy and cryo-electron microscopy as well protein biochemistry using pull-downs, cross linking etc.) of a recently discovered novel secretory organelle, the nozzle that appears to be the molecular motor involved in slime secretion and gliding motility (see Curr. Biol. 2002; 12:369-377). In addition, we plan to isolate the slime material and characterise its chemical composition and structure as well as characterise its secretion in vivo using novel fluorescent probes and high-resolution light microscopy techniques. Together these experiments should for the first time allow us to understand the molecular basis of gliding motility, a phenomenon that is widespread among bacteria. Again, this project can be modified depending on the interest and background of the candidate.

Science Graduate School

As a PhD student in one of the science departments at the University of Sheffield, you’ll be part of the Science Graduate School – a community of postgraduate researchers working across biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and psychology. You’ll get access to training opportunities designed to support your career development by helping you gain professional skills that are essential in all areas of science. You’ll be able to learn how to recognise good research and research behaviour, improve your communication abilities and experience technologies that are used in academia, industry and many related careers. Visit to learn more.

Funding Notes

Entry requirements
First class or upper second 2(i) in a relevant subject. To formally apply for a PhD position, you must complete the University's application form using the following link: View Website

*All applicants should ensure that both references are uploaded onto their application as a decision will be unable to be made without this information*.

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

FTE Category A staff submitted: 44.90

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

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