This project investigates the novel architecture of the power system found in a bacterial flagellar motor specialised for locomotion in viscous fluids (in collaboration with Jun Liu (Yale)). The striking feature of this motor, revealed by cryo-tomography, is a protein cage that stabilises the wider power-generating ring to sustain the larger turning force. Unravelling the make-up of this cage and the structural basis for its ability to recruit force-generating units will advance our fundamental knowledge about the mechanism of the bacterial flagellar motor, and strategies used by nature to increase its performance under high viscosity conditions. It will impact on our understanding of how living cells convert the electrochemical energy of ion gradients into the mechanical energy of rotation. Applications are welcome from students with a strong interest in structural biology (crystallography, electron microscopy, computational docking).
crystallography, structural biology, electron microscopy, Helicobacter pylori, cancer, virulence, antibiotic resistance, biophysics, enzymology, flagellar motor, department of microbiology
Top-up scholarship funding available