Small regulatory RNAs in Campylobacter jejuni: The global view

Lead Research Organisation: University of Warwick
Department Name: School of Life Sciences


An unexpected and exciting finding of the post-genomic era has been the emerging idea that non-coding RNAs play an important role in all domains of life. Many have been shown to play critical regulatory roles through interactions with other RNAs and proteins, influencing regulation at the post-transcriptional level. In bacteria, high throughput sequencing of transcriptomes (RNA-seq) has aided and expedited the identification of regulatory RNAs. Understanding the fundamental role of regulatory RNAs, however, has been moving at a much slower pace. Although most regulatory RNAs interact with other RNAs to exert their function, the development of high-throughput tools to allow identification of RNA-RNA interactions in bacteria is still lacking.
Campylobacter jejuni is known to be the most common cause of bacterial gastroenteritis in developed countries, with an estimated half a million cases per year in England and Wales. Given the medical and public health importance of a Campylobacter infection, it is remarkable that C. jejuni is one of the least understood enteropathogens. The complexity of its transcriptional landscape as it persists in the chicken gut and infects the human gut still remains to by investigated.
This project aims to build a transcriptomic compendium for C. jejuni, focusing on developing a comprehensive database of sRNAs expressed under various environmental stresses and growth conditions the bacteria may encounter. RNA-RNA interactions will be identified both in silico and through the development of novel methodologies and this would allow us to build a global, in vivo overview of these interactions. We expect the analysis of the data will allow the identification of sRNAs and their targets and thus allow us to formulate conclusions about their function and role.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M01116X/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2023
1643034 Studentship BB/M01116X/1 05/10/2015 30/09/2019 Jenna Hoi-Yam Lam
Description Two reproducible data sets were generated from this project, which will be a very useful resource for the Campylobacter research community as it includes information on gene expression of the bacteria exposed to 22 different host-relevant and transmission conditions, and transcriptional start site information.
Exploitation Route The outcome of this research will be further used in collaboration with another lab member for his phd project, and to also publish a co- first author paper in the works. The data will be used to compare a non-coding prediction tool that will create a repertoire of non-codings of Campylobacter jejuni.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Healthcare

Description Microbiology Society Conference Grant 2017
Amount £285 (GBP)
Funding ID SCG17/271 
Organisation Microbiology Society 
Sector Learned Society
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2017 
End 04/2017
Title Cappable-seq data 
Description A compendium of transcriptional start site information from a poolet set of 22 conditions in Campylobacter jejuni NCTC 11168. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Will be greatly beneficial to the Campylobacter research community and form a basis for future work in the research group 
Title RNAtag-seq data 
Description RNA-seq data of 22 individual growth and stress conditions in Camylobacter jejuni NCTC 11168 in three biological replicates, resulting in 66 raw sequencing data samples. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Gene expression data from 22 host-releveant transmission conditions in Campylobacter jejuni, which will be greatly beneficial to the Campylobacter research community. 
Description M4 2018 University of Warwick 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Many academics from the midlands area and nationally attended the event as well as sponsors of different companies to engage with talks and posters presented by different institutes by postdocs, phd students, and PIs.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
Description M4 conference 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Many academics from institutions around the midlands and few from afar and abroad attended this conference. It was a joint conference between Midlands Microbiology and Molecular Microbiology held at the University of Birmingham. There were also organisations from industry, and representatives from some companies were interested in my poster.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017