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Molecular mechanism of horizontal gene transfer in pathogenic epsilon-proteobacteria (Gene transfer)


This third-party funded project is conducted in the framework of the BfR research program for exposition estimation and assessment of biological risks.

Support code of DFG: FKZ STI 201/3-1

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The uptake of DNA from the environment is the first step of the acquisition of novel characteristics, such as antibiotic resistances or virulence factors, which enable adaptation towards altered environmetal conditions.

In this project, financed by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and performed in the department Biological Safety of the BfR (research grant), the molecular mechanisms of DNA uptake in ε-Proteobacteria are investigated in vivo and in vitro. As model organims the two gram-negative human pathogenic bacteria, Helicobacter pylori and Campylobacter jejuni are considered, which are close relatives but use different DNA uptake systems.

Using newly developed fluorescence-based detection methods, transport of DNA over the outer and inner membrane of the bacteria can be visualized for the analysis of the role of different gene products in natural transformation of theses bacteria. The goal is a better understanding of the different steps of natural transformation as well as the development of inhibitors, which e. g. can be used for the reduction of the spread of resistance genes.


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Molecular mechanism of horizontal gene transfer in pathogenic epsilon-proteobacteria


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