The 'fast-growing' species of mycobacteria are common in many environments and known to be important for the biodegradation of pollutants, but the biology of this fascinating group of bacteria is poorly understood. It is likely they play important roles in biogeochemical cycles and interact with other soil microbes, animals and plants. So what exactly are these ecological roles? Can we use these bacteria to enhance agriculture or for other kinds of biotechnology?
The Coleman Lab has been studying mycobacteria that grow on ethylene (C2H4) as their carbon source for many years. We have been pioneers in genome-sequencing these bacteria and in studying their genes and enzymes. We suspect that these bugs have important roles in soils and may influence plant growth since ethylene is an important plant hormone. We will use a mix of molecular-ecological and microbiological methods to study these bacteria and determine what exactly is the nature of their relationship with plants. We will attempt to develop inoculum strains for agriculture that can enhance plant growth or crop yields and develop biotechnology applications to delay fresh produce ripening post-harvest.
The project requires skills and knowledge in microbiology and molecular biology. Some plant or soil science background would be helpful too, but not essential.
HDR Inherent Requirements
In addition to the academic requirements set out in the Science Postgraduate Handbook, you may be required to satisfy a number of inherent requirements to complete this degree. Example of inherent requirement may include:
The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 2835