The bacterial genus Streptomyces are found in a wide variety of locations and conditions and have the ability to produce a wide variety of anti-microbial compounds that are medically useful.
The regulation of production of these compounds is often not fully understood, making discovery of novel compounds in the lab challenging.
Ainsley works in the Hutchings lab, where they hope that by understanding the regulation of the gene clusters that produce these anti-microbial compounds they will be able to induce the production of more novel compounds.
Of particular interest in the Hutchings lab are two-component regulatory systems (2CSs) that detect environmental stimuli and regulate production of compounds based on the external signals.
Ainsley will be working to further understand how the many conserved 2CSs function in different Streptomyces species and how we can use them to find new anti-microbial compounds.