Detailed information about selected course/program
EU code
13.4 - Microbiology, Biotechnology
3 - PhD
University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Bacterial Cell Biology
Directionality of the actin homologue MreB during elongation in rodshaped bacteria that grow in length or grow in width.
Language requirements
Academic requirements
Knowledge of DNA recombination techniques, protein purification, enzyme kinetics, microscopy, modelling and mathematics is an advantage but not an requirement. The work requires an affinity for experimental precision and detailed recording of the experiments. The candidate will give presentation in international conferences and is expected to produce three papers in peer reviewed journals to be able to obtain a PhD.
Max available positions
The rod shaped gamma-proteobacteria Escherichia coli and Laxus oneistus symbiont have a many genes in common. Yet, the former growths in length and divides binary with a division plane perpendicular to length axes, but the latter growth in width and divides longitudinally to length axes. To understand this behavior will affect our concepts of how these bacteria evolve and possibly change our concept of how rigid/flexible proteins machines operate. MreB is an actin homologue that localizes in a helical pattern underneath the cytoplasmic membrane of E. coli and recruits the proteins involved in length growth of the envelope. The aim is to study the directionality of MreB filaments in bacterial species in vivo using high-resolution microscopy (STORM) and to characterize its polymerization kinetics in vivo. The L. oneistus symbiont protein will be ectopically expressed in E. coli to determine whether it can function in this species.
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34 months between Jul 1 2014 and Jul 1 2017
Contact person
Tanneke den Blaauwen (
Additional information
The PhD student will learn the following techniques: immunofluorescence microscopy, STORM, light scattering spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, protein isolation, FRET. And the basic molecular biology techniques as far as the candidate lacks these skills. Several courses can be followed during the PhD project depending on the knowledge gaps of the candidate. National and international meetings will be attended. Further reading: van der Ploeg, R., et al., (2013) Co-localization and interaction between elongasome and divisome during a preparative cell division phase in Escherichia coli Mol Mic 87: 1045-1087. Leisch, N., et al., (2012) Growth in width and FtsZ ring longitudinal positioning in a gammaproteobacterial symbiont Current Biol 22: R831-R832. den Blaauwen, T. (2013) Prokaryotic cell division: flexible and diverse. Current Microbiology: in press (October issue).