Characterisation of key Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus predation proteins

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: Sch of Biosciences


The bacterial predator Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus is a useful, natural obligate killer of other bacteria. The potential exists to use Bdellovibrio (whole cells, or protein products in isolation) for a variety of antimicrobial purposes (healthcare, agriculture, bioremediation). We are beginning to investigate the means by which this specialized predator recognizes, enters and kills its prey.
This project will use biochemistry and structural biology approaches to characterize proteins involved in predation. We will start by investigating three distinct sub-projects - (i) a novel protein proven to be essential for predation, postulated by us to be involved in protein folding; (ii) a receptor present in Bdellovibrio that contributes to killing efficiency, presumably by directing predator in a chemotactic fashion toward areas of high prey density; and (iii) a novel family of related proteins that regulate other genes during invasion of prey.


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Gonzalez-Delgado LS (2020) Two-site recognition of Staphylococcus aureus peptidoglycan by lysostaphin SH3b. in Nature chemical biology

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M01116X/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2023
1790996 Studentship BB/M01116X/1 03/10/2016 25/03/2021 Hannah Louise Walters-Morgan
Description Charaterise proteins essential to Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus lifecycle and survival. In particular I will be looking at hunting and the change from attack phase to growth phase.
Exploitation Route My work will add to the overall aim of my lab, which is to completely understand Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus so that it can be used as a living novel antibiotic.
Sectors Environment,Healthcare,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology,Other