PhD in Molecular Microbiology, Infection mechanisms of archaeal viruses 1.0 FTE

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 14 Dec 2021

The research group ‘Biology of Archaea and Viruses’ is studying infection mechanisms of archaeal viruses. Archaea are ubiquitous microorganisms that form a separate domain of life. Compared with bacteria and eukaryotes, relatively little is known about the cell biology and ecological roles of archaea. A prominent feature of archaea is the extraordinary diversity of their viruses. Archaeal viral particles have many unique shapes not encountered for bacterial and eukaryotic viruses. We focus on the infection strategies of archaeal viruses and study the molecular mechanisms underlying essential steps of the viral infection cycle, such as attachment, entry and release of the host cell. Since these processes take place at the cell surface, we are also actively studying the archaeal cell surface and surface appendages using the halophilic euryarchaeon Haloferax volcanii as a model. Studying the infection mechanisms of archaeal viruses can provide insight into the evolutionary history of viruses and help to understand adaptation to extreme environments. This particular project focusses on novel lysis mechanisms of halophilic viruses.

We offer an excellent opportunity to engage into an exciting PhD project that combines microbiology, genetic, microscopy and biochemical tools in the context of a dynamic and enthusiastic work environment, with state-of-the-art equipment and various chances for national and international scientific collaborations.

We are looking for a PhD candidate for this project. Your responsibilities will include:

• application of several light and electron microscopy techniques to study the infection strategies of selected viruses
• gevelopment of genetic tools for the halophilic virus-host model that is used for the project
• identification and structural characterization of proteins important for the egress of haloarchaeal viruses.

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