Unravelling the functions of new antibiotic resistance genes

Projektförslag för kandidatarbete inom inst. Kemi och kemiteknik och Biologi och bioteknik
​Projektexamenskod: BBTX01-22-01 

Avdelningen för Kemisk biologi
Institutionen för Biologi och Bioteknik, Chalmers tekniska högskola  


Bacteria have a number of stress response systems that help them cope with external stress. Several of those are of relevance as resistance factors against medically used antibiotics. In a previous study, we have profiled the proteomic stress response of the model bacterium Bacillus subtilis in response to a number of antibiotics that target the bacterial cell envelope. The cell envelope, composed of the cytoplasmic membrane and the peptidoglycan cell wall, is a highly relevant antibiotic target, since resistance against compounds targeting this structure is scarce. In our study, we have found several new stress response systems that specifically responded to either membrane or cell wall stress, or in some cases both. The function of these systems is entirely unknown and the subject of this project.


In this Bachelor project, you will work on six stress response systems that appeared as markers in our proteomic study. Your task will be to find first evidence for their function under antibiotic stress. To this end, you will characterize the phenotypes of the corresponding deletion mutants under different stress conditions, e.g. treatment with antibiotics that target the cell envelope on different levels. You will also examine the localization of selected stress proteins within bacterial cells using fluorescence microscopy. Moreover, you will analyze cell envelope physiology in the deletion mutants with respect to cell envelope integrity using fluorescence microscopic and spectroscopic techniques.

Genomförande /Viktiga moment/teknikinnehåll

In this project, you will

1. Use molecular cloning to generate the relevant bacterial strains.

2. Characterize the phenotypes of deletion mutants with regard to effects on growth rate, antibiotic sensitivity, and cell envelope physiology.

3. Characterize the localization of selected stress response proteins within bacterial cells using fluorescent fusion proteins.

Speciella förkunskapskrav:

Students should have general laboratory experience (pipetting, making solutions, calculating dilutions). A biology background is advantageous. Knowledge about microbiology and working under sterile conditions is a plus but can as well be learned during the project. Verbal communication during the project will be in English, but all writing will be in Swedish.

Möjlig målgrupp Bioteknik, Bt

Gruppstorlek: 4–6 studenter  

Förslagsställare/kontaktperson/huvudhandledare: ​​ Michaela Wenzel
Övriga handledare: Luna Baruah

Sidansvarig Publicerad: on 03 nov 2021.