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Genome mining of the human gut microbiota for biotechnologically exploitable enzyme activities

Primary supervisor: Dr Lucy Crouch, University of BirminghamLink opens in a new window

Non-academic partner: Dr Daniel Spencer

Project Title: Genome mining of the human gut microbiota for biotechnologically exploitable enzyme activities


Project description:

The human gut microbiota has a mutualistic relationship with the host, creating a profound but poorly understood impact of host health, development, and disease. Glycans are the main nutrient source for the gut microbiota and these can come from dietary fibre or human glycans and polysaccharides, for example. Gut microbes use carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes) to degrade the many different types of glycans and therefore have a plethora of CAZymes with different activities to make this possible. This project focusses on the almost completely underexplored bacterium Victivallis vadensis. This species has only been found in the human gut, grows on a variety of diverse glycan substrates, and has an unusually large number of CAZymes. The genomic potential of this species suggests it will metabolise host glycans as there are putative sialidases and fucosidases, for example. Furthermore, there are a high number of putative CAZymes with no family, so this project has huge potential to describe these.

 

Candidates are encouraged to contact Dr Lucy Crouch Link opens in a new windowto discuss the project before applying if they wish to.

Contact: Dr Lucy Crouch, University of BirminghamLink opens in a new window

 

 

Application

Deadline: 20 January 2023

To apply for a CASE studentship, please check your eligibility and complete the MIBTP application process.

Please ensure that you;

  • Apply directly to the Univeristy of Birmingham.
  • Clearly state you are applying for a CASE project and stipulate the proejct title.