Phenotype-genotype association in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Plant Sciences


Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a highly diverse environmental organism, with a complex, mobile genome, that is also an opportunistic pathogen in the Cystic Fibrosis lung. Within the lung it will often set up a long-term chronic infection, undergoing local adaptation to this niche. This adaptation has frequently been used as a model system to understand rapid evolutionary adaptation in novel niches.

High levels of genomic and phenotypic diversity of P. aeruginosa have been observed during chronic infection, but very few studies have linked the two. This project will use novel bioinformatic approaches to understand phenotype-genotype association in this bacterium by combining whole genome sequencing of several thousand P. aeruginosa colonies with detailed in vitro colony phenotyping of a large number of relevant parameters. Interesting candidate mutations will be experimentally tested using knockout and complemented strains.

This study will determine the genetic basis of phenotypic diversity within the niche, and should yield a greater understanding of the process of P. aeruginosa invasion of, and long-term adaptation to, a novel niche.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M011194/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2023
1643701 Studentship BB/M011194/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2019 Samuel Kidman
Description Evidence submitted to Health and Social Care Committee's review on Antimicrobial Resistance
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
Description Presentation to Policy Makers on Antimicrobial Resistance
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Implementation circular/rapid advice/letter to e.g. Ministry of Health
Description WTSI BBSRC Studentship Top-Up
Amount £24,000 (GBP)
Organisation The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2016 
End 10/2019
Description Bringing Bioinformatics to Rural Kenya 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Traveled to rural Kenya to give a workshop on Bioinformatics to academics at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology. From this week-long workshop, increased knowledge of bioinformatics was reported, stronger international collaborations were achieved, and a MSc course was developed.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
Description School Visit to Institute (Cambridgeshire) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Local school students visited the Institute for a "Meet a Scientist" Open Day. I participated by talking about the research linked to this award.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017