Prof Ray Dixon
The ability of bacteria to respond to a multitude of environmental signals and integrate these signals to trigger adaptive responses provides a successful strategy for survival in rapidly changing environments. Understanding the molecular mechanisms by which these signals are perceived and integrated is the main aim of our work.
Our major emphasis is on signal transduction cascades that regulate nitrogen fixation genes in response to oxygen, carbon and fixed nitrogen status. A long-term goal of this research is to exploit and engineer nitrogen fixation genes for agricultural benefit.
We also study a specific class of prokaryotic transcription factors that use energy from nucleotide hydrolysis to drive the process of transcription initiation. These bacterial enhancer binding proteins interact at a distance with RNA polymerase holoenzyme containing an unusual sigma factor, sigma54. One such protein under study is NorR, a nitric oxide responsive transcriptional activator that controls expression of genes required for NO detoxification. Enhancer binding proteins contain a variety of sensory modules that probably contribute to the adaptability and unique physiological diversity of many bacteria.
ContactTel: 01603 450747
Reconstruction and minimal gene requirements for the alternative iron-only nitrogenase in Escherichia coli.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 111 pE3718-3725
Publisher’s version: 10.1073/pnas.1411185111
A minimal nitrogen fixation gene cluster from Paenibacillus sp. WLY78 enables expression of active nitrogenase in Escherichia coli.
PLoS Genetics 9 pe1003865
Publisher’s version: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1003865
Using Synthetic Biology to Distinguish and Overcome Regulatory and Functional Barriers Related to Nitrogen Fixation
PLOS One 8 pe68677
The Role of Bacterial Enhancer Binding Proteins as Specialized Activators of sigma54-Dependent Transcription.
Microbiology & Molecular Biology Reviews 76 p497-529
Publisher’s version: 10.1128/MMBR.00006-12
Substitutions in the redox-sensing PAS domain of the NifL regulatory protein define an inter-subunit pathway for redox signal transmission.
Molecular Microbiology 82 p222-35
Publisher’s version: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2011.07812.x
Deciphering the Principles of Bacterial Nitrogen Dietary Preferences: a Strategy for Nutrient Containment
mBio 7 pe00792-16
Publisher’s version: 10.1128/mBio.00792-16
Microbiology & Molecular Biology Reviews 79 p419-35
Publisher’s version: 10.1128/MMBR.00038-15
Enhanced oxygen consumption in Herbaspirillum seropedicae fnr mutants leads to increased NifA mediated transcriptional activation.
BMC Microbiology 15 p95
Publisher’s version: 10.1186/s12866-015-0432-6
Publisher’s version: 10.1111/1462-2920.12887
The structural basis for enhancer-dependent assembly and activation of the AAA transcriptional activator NorR.
Molecular Microbiology 95 p1730
Publisher’s version: 10.1111/mmi.12844
- Dr Corinne Appia-Ayme Postdoctoral Scientist
For media enquiries, please contact the JIC communications team 01603 450962, firstname.lastname@example.org