Molecular mechanisms behind growth optimization and stress responses in bacteria at Biologisk Institut - Københavns Universitet


We are studying how bacteria sense diverse environmental parameters, like supplies of diverse nutrients, and how the regulatory signals are integrated to obtain the best survival strategy in the competition for supplies.

We use a lot of quantitative measurements from alive bacterial cultures in our studies to see where resources are spent in the cells. We have recently found and published that ribosomes are very unstable molecules in situations where growth becomes limited by the lack of essential elements in the medium like carbohydrates, phosphate or nitrogen. Our goal is to understand the regulatory mechanisms behind the recourse allocation scheme we find in each case - which in all cases may go through the same major regulatory pathway. We have used methods like quantitative high throughput RNA-seq, Northern blots and metabolic labeling with various radioactive precursers for these studies, and have by these methods gained insight into likely regulatory mechanisms involving small regulatory RNAs and specific RNases.

The current focus is to confirm these regulatory networks by molecular biology in genetically manipulated strains, either by deleting central genes or by doing over-expression/complementation studies with cloned genes.


Applied methods:

Northern blots, measurements on live cultures of reporters and macromolecules, bacterial genetics and clonings, qPCR and high thrugput seq.



Regulatory networks, Growth physiology, Stress responses,E. coli, gut bacteria



Sine Lo Svenningsen and Michael A. Sørensen



University of Copenhagen

Department of Biology

Ole Maaloesvej 5, Bldn. 3.2.15,

DK-2200 Copenhagen N.



Phone +45 3029 5043

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