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Molecular Biology and Microbial Food Safety

Molecular Biology and Microbial Food Safety

Group leader Stanley Brul

The mission of the 'Molecular Biology and Microbial Food Safety' group is to understand the interaction of microbes and their environment. We focus on the bioenergetics and importance of the intracellular pH as a signal in growth, survival and death. We deploy our insights with partners in SILS (Microbiology, Mass Spectrometry, Omics and Advanced Microscopy) and partners outside (Unilever, FrieslandCampina, TNO, NVWA, AMC) in fundamental and application oriented research that is of importance to health and disease. The group uses several modelsystems and is equipped to do in vivo studies in Caenorhabditis elegans.

Stress response in microbial systems

An overriding issue in biology is stress response to environmental challenge. We study this response at the level of cellular bioenergetics and pH homeostasis in the context of challenges with antimicrobials and antibiotics. As modelsystems both Escherichia coli (antibiotic resistance in the food chain), Bacillus subtilis (germination mechanisms and antimicrobial resistance in food and man), and Saccharomyces cerevisiae (antimicrobial resistance in food and man) are used. Spin-off also involves industrial biotechnology. In vivo tests are done in Caenorhabditis elegans, as a simple multicellular model. In our studies we address the hierarchy in decision making focussing on genome, transcript and proteome analyses as well as quantitative physiology.

Funded by NWO, EU, Erasmus Mundus programmes, Chinese Scholarship Council, NVWA, TNO and companies.

pH controls growth and development
pHi controls growth and development
Bacterial spore
Bacterial spores and spore germination

Research lines Molecular Biology and Microbial Food Safety