Mechanisms for Microbial Function

BacteriaUnderstanding the mechanisms that bacteria employ to live is extremely important as they underpin our ability to cure diseases or to exploit microbes for biotechnological purposes. This module incorporates a number of elements that look at how bacteria function. It explores the fundamentals of life including sensing chemicals and stress and how the bacteria modulate their behaviour. This also includes how bacteria communicate with each other as a population. The module also looks at how bacteria have evolved as individuals and populations and shows the remarkable abilities of bacteria to exploit different niches and survive the toughest environments. Over the course of the module, students are taught the cutting edge techniques that have allowed such innovative advances in biology over the last decade.

Spring Term


JacksonRob_largeProfessor Rob Jackson is a microbiologist interested in bacteria-plant interactions. He did his PhD at UWE, Bristol on bacterial plasmids and pathogenicity. He worked at the Universities of Oxford, Auckland and Bath before moving to Reading. He is the Admissions Tutor for the BSc Microbiology degree. His main area of expertise lies in bacterial genetics to understand how plant pathogens cause disease and survive within the environment and how biocontrol bacteria likePseudomonas fluorescens promote plant growth. Rob is also interested in how human pathogens, such as Escherichia coli O157, can colonise plants - this is a major issue for food poisoning and dissemination of the bacteria within the environment

Module convenor: Professor Rob Jackson

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