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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

Research project: Exploration of pan-immunity in prokaryotes

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This studentship is investigating the working mechanisms of pan-immunity – the sum of all immune systems available for a microbe to horizontally acquire and use - in microbial communities.

Organisms throughout all domains of life are under constant pressure to adapt to their environments. Bacteria are no exception and need to evolve to survive consistently. Part of this pressure is due to predation by bacteriophages, which led to the development of multiple defence mechanisms against invading genetic elements. This project explores the concept of pan-immunity in single and mixed communities. We expect to understand mechanisms that rule immunity exchange, in particular adaptive immunity (CRISPR memory). We will look at how bacterial defence systems influence microbial communities in complex environments such as biofilms, and will explore the defence systems for the development of novel genome engineering tools.


Franklin Nobrega (supervisor)
Marc G. Dumont (co-supervisor)

PGR student: Rodrigo González Linares

Funding provider: Starting funds of Franklin Nobrega
Funding dates: September 2020 – March 2024

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