My research group uses genomic technology to investigate the different ways that recombination shapes bacterial genomes, focusing on the natural transformation system of Haemophilus influenzae and using DNA sequencing as an experimental tool to identify the causes and consequences of DNA uptake and recombination. One project aims to fully characterize the recombination tracts produced when cells of one strain take up DNA from another, using Illumina sequencing of many independent recombinant genomes. A second project uses these recombinant sequences in genome-wide searches for the loci responsible for the differing abilities of natural bacterial strains to be transformed. A third project is characterizing the sequence specificity of DNA uptake by applying deep sequencing to DNA fragments that have been preferentially taken up by competent cells. Finally, we are using optical tweezers technology to physically characterize the process of DNA uptake by naturally competent cells.
3 hours ago in Variety of Life