Theme: Ecology genetics and evolution 

Description: Natural transformation is one of the classic avenues for gene exchange in bacteria. Numerous experiments have quantified gene uptake of DNA when added to populations, but very few studies have investigated how bacteria exchange genes in more natural settings where no external DNA is provided. In this project, the student will fill this gap in our knowledge, performing experiments with the natural competent bacterium Acinetobacter baylyi to estimate transformation rates and test hypotheses we should expect bacteria to take up DNA.

Additional Information: Some experience with lab work (pipetting, sterile technique etc.) preferred but not essential.

Contact: Assoc Prof Jan Engelstaedter