Graduate Students Mini-Symposium VII 2022

Graduate Students Mini-Symposium


16:00 h Michel Oklitschek, AG Sogaard-Andersen

"Identification and characterization of SopA- a novel type IV pili-dependent motility regulator in Myxococcus xanthus"

M. xanthus moves across surfaces using type IV pili-(T4P). T4P undergo cycles of extension, adhesion, and retraction, thereby pulling cells forward. While the core components of the T4P machine are conserved, the regulators that control the function of this machine are more diverse. In M. xanthus, the small GTPase MglA interacts with the HEAT domain protein SgmX to stimulate T4P formation by unknown mechanism(s). To elucidate the molecular mechanism(s) of these two proteins, we used phylogenomics and in vivo experimentation. Here, we report the identification of SopA as a novel regulator of T4P formation.

16:30 h Jana Jung, AG Sogaard-Andersen

"Characterization of the DNA-binding protein DdiA potentially involved in the SOS response in Myxococcus xanthus"

M. xanthus uses the PomX/PomY/PomZ system to correctly position the cytokinetic (Fts)Z-ring. PomX/PomY/PomZ are encoded in a locus with DdiA, a previously uncharacterized protein. We report that DdiA is a DNA-binding protein and that lack or overproduction of DdiA results in division defects supporting that DdiA is a cell division inhibitor. Interestingly, the synthesis of an active DdiA-mCherry fusion is heterogeneous, with only a few cells producing it. Intriguingly, the frequency of DdiA-Cherry-producing cells increased dramatically in response to DNA damage, indicating that DdiA is part of the SOS response. We will report on the DdiA function in the SOS response.

17:00 h René Inckemann, AG Erb

“Designing, Building and Testing Synthetic Chloroplast Genomes”

Improving photosynthesis could contribute to ensure the sustainable production of food for an ever growing world population, however the tools to drastically rewire and re-engineer photosynthesis on a larger scale are missing. The ability to implement redesigned synthetic chloroplast genomes could offer a possible solution for such an engineering effort. Therefore, tools and a workflow for fully replacing the chloroplast genome by a synthetic genome have been developed. Furthermore semi-synthetic strains have been characterized in order to assess the viability of the synthetic genome designs.

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