Andrew Lovering

Colleges, School and Institutes

Willingness to take PhD students

Yes

PhD projects

Andrew Lovering’s team is interested in a variety of bacterial systems, especially those with the potential for antibiotic development. One of these systems involves analysis of the remarkable predatory bacterium Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus. Predatory bacteria feed off and eventually kill other bacteria, and thus research into this process has potential therapeutic possibilities. Bdellovibrio is the model predatory organism, and possesses an unusual lifestyle where it enters its prey through the outer membrane and resides in the periplasm. The host cell changes shape (forming a structure termed the ‘bdelloplast’) and the Bdellovibrio cell grows and replicates using material obtained from prey breakdown. Progeny then exit the dead host to start the cycle anew. Host-independent forms of Bdellovibrio may be grown separately from prey in rich media. Dr Lovering aims to understand:

The precise function of proteins involved in predation events
How Bdellovibrio responds to the challenges of intraperiplasmic growth
What specifically regulates the alteration to a host-independent (non-predatory) lifestyle