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John Innes Centre

Department of Molecular Microbiology

Head of Department Mark Buttner
Department Administrator

Marian Binks

Contact Us

Tel: +44 (0)1603 450719
Fax: +44 (0)1603 450018


Our holistic approach integrates cellular physiology, molecular genetics (including functional genomics), biochemistry and structural biology. In the Department of Molecular Microbiology we study bacterial metabolism, physiology, gene regulation and development, and plant-bacterial interactions.

Major themes of our work on Gram-negative bacteria are the molecular basis of signal transduction in response to various environmental signals and studies on the biology of ammonia channel proteins which are conserved in all domains of life.

The Department's comprehensive Streptomyces programme, studying antibiotic production, morphological differentiation and stress responses, is underpinned by the newly-acquired genome sequence of the model species S. coelicolor, and cutting-edge techniques in functional genomics.

In the Rhizobium-legume symbiosis, our studies encompass rhizosphere microbiology, Rhizobium quorum-sensing, plant-bacterial signalling, legume infection and nodulation, and carbon and nitrogen exchange between the plant and nitrogen-fixing rhizobia.

The Department capitalises on JIC's emerging strengths in functional genomics, structural biology and advanced cytological techniques, as well as exploiting novel links between research on bacterial and plant processes.

Useful Links

Micron - Microbiology in Norwich
Foodborne Bacterial Pathogens Programme - IFR
School of Biological Sciences - UEA


Society for General Microbiology
The Society for Industrial Microbiology
The American Society of Microbiology
FEMS - Federation of European Microbiological Societies


Summer School in Applied Molecular Microbiology
Society for General Microbiology Meetings
American Society for Microbiology Meetings
Society for Industrial Microbiology Meetings
Federation of European Microbiological Societies Meetings