Latest News

  • 10/11/2015
    The work of Professor Krause's MSc student Ashley Campbell has been featured in an advertising brochure for TTPlabtech. 
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  • 09/11/2015
    Congratulations to Associate Professors Tony Merriman, Sally McCormick, and Peter Dearden, who have been promoted to professor. The promotions take effect as of 1st February 2016.
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  • 14/10/2015
    Yesterday was the long awaited launch day for Lab-in-a-Box. This is a fully-contained training laboratory in a blue shipping container, and the project of Associate Professor Peter Dearden. It will take practical science to schools in remote areas which are not equipped with laboratories or specialist science teachers.
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    This calendar shows scheduled speaking events such as seminars and journal clubs. Dates with events scheduled are highlighted in blue, click on one of these to go to a page of event details.

    The small arrows pointing at each week are links to that week's events.

  • Featured publication

    James L O McKellar, Jordan J Minnell, and Monica L Gerth., Mol Microbiol, 2015

    Anyone who has swatted away a hungry mosquito - or followed their own nose towards fresh coffee - will appreciate the usefulness of chemosensory cues for insects and mammals. Microorganisms also display surprisingly sophisticated sensory behaviours. By monitoring changes in the chemical composition of their environment, microbes move towards chemo-attractants (e.g. food sources) and flee from chemo-repellents (e.g. noxious chemicals and toxins). This process, termed chemotaxis, allows microbes to navigate towards more favourable environments. For many microbial pathogens, cheomotaxis is a critical part of host invasion and colonisation.

    We have begun to explore the structural and functional diversity of the chemoreceptors from Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae (Psa). Psa is best known as the pathogen responsible for recent kiwifruit losses in New Zealand. It also has an unusually diverse chemosensory system, with 43 putative chemoreceptors encoded in its genome, none of which have been previously characterized. In this paper, we developed a high-throughput fluorescence-based thermal shift assay for identifying the ligands recognized by a given chemoreceptor. Using this assay, we screened 3 Psa chemoreceptors against 95 potential ligands. We found that each chemoreceptor recognized a distinct subset of amino acids. We further characterised one of these receptors, named pscA, using isothermal titration calorimetry, site-directed mutagenesis and chemotaxis assays.

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