Department of Ecogenetics and Systems Biology - Division of Archaea Biology and Ecogenomics

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Research > Former Projects > SOLAR

SOLAR: Sulfolobus, a model archaeon for studying the origin of eukaryotes and the development of their information processing systems

The evolution of Life on Earth has resulted in three fundamentally distinct classes of organisms: the eukaryotic domain and two prokaryotic domains, the bacteria and the more recently discovered archaea. Comparative genomics and biochemical analyses have indicated that the prokaryotic archaea and the eukaryotes are closely related with respect to cellular information processing systems, such as replication & repair, transcription & translation, as well as protein modification & turnover. The SOLAR project aims at the identification and functional characterization of proteins that play crucial roles in information processing, not only to learn about these systems in archaea, but also to understand the functionality of their more complex eukaryotic counterparts.

Sulfolobus solfataricus is a thermophilic archaeon that serves as a model organism since its complete genome sequence, genetic systems, and functional genomics tools have recently been established by active participation of the applicants’ groups. Key proteins of S. solfataricus will be analysed (i) by monitoring global phenotypes (transcriptome, proteome) wild-type and to-be-generated mutant strains (silenced or enhanced expression of selected target genes), (ii) by identifying in vivo interactions of potential regulators with proteins and DNA fragments, and (iii) by in vitro functional characterization of selected regulatory proteins and their target proteins and/or DNA.

Ultimately, this study will reveal relevant details of the processing of genetic information in archaea and eukaryotes, by (i) elucidating the key proteins and their interactions, (ii) gaining insight in the mechanism and regulation of these complexes, and (iii) and providing details on the evolution of the well-conserved archaeal-eukaryal information processing systems. The Partners of the proposed SOLAR Project have been selected on the basis of excellent scientific track records, previous successful collaborations, as well as very good teaching skills. Overall the proposed MC RTN will provide a unique European research and training programme, for young scientific talents.

Duration: 01.10.2007 - 30.04.2011

Funding: European Commission Research: Marie Curie Actions Research Training Networks MRTN-CT-2006-033499

Participants: Christa Schleper, Daniela Teichmann

Ajon M, Fröls S, van Wolferen M, Stoecker K, Teichmann D, Driessen AJM, Grogan DW, Albers SV, Schleper C (2011) UV-inducible DNA exchange in hyperthermophilic archaea mediated by type IV pili. Molecular Microbiology 82(4): 807-817.

Manica A, Zebec Z, Teichmann D, Schleper C (2011) In vivo activity of CRISPR-mediated virus defence in a hyperthermophilic archaeon. Molecular Microbiology 80(2): 481-491.

Zaparty M, Esser D, Gertig S, Haferkamp P, Kouril T, Manica A, Pham TK, Reimann J, Schreiber K, Sierocinski P, Teichmann D, van Wolferen M, von Jan M, Wieloch P, Albers SV, Driessen AJ, Klenk HP, Schleper C, Schomburg D, van der Oost J, Wright PC, Siebers B (2009) "Hot standards" for the thermoacidophilic archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus. Extremophiles 14(1): 119-142.

Redder P, Peng X, Brügger K, Shah SA, Roesch F, Greve B, She Q, Schleper C, Forterre P, Garrett RA, Prangishvili D (2009) Four newly isolated fuselloviruses from extreme geothermal environments reveal unusual morphologies and a possible interviral recombination mechanism. Environmental Microbiology 11(11): 2849-2862.

Fröls S, White MF, Schleper C (2009) Reactions to UV damage in the model archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus. Biochemical Society Transactions 37(Pt 1): 36-41. Review.

Perevalova AA, Kolganova TV, Birkeland NK, Schleper C, Bonch-Osmolovskaya EA, Lebedinsky AV (2008) Distribution of Crenarchaeota representatives in terrestrial hot springs of Russia and Iceland. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 74(24): 7620-7628.

Fröls S, Ajon M, Wagner M, Teichmann D, Zolghadr B, Folea M, Boekema, Driessen AJM, Schleper C, Albers SV (2008) UV-inducible cellular aggregation of the hyperthermophilic archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus is mediated by pili formation. Molecular Microbiololy 70(4): 938-52.

Fröls S, Gordon PM, Panlilio MA, Duggin ID, Bell SD, Sensen CW, Schleper C (2007) Response of the hyperthermophilic Archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus to UV damage. Journal of Bacteriology 189: 8708-8718.

Fröls S, Gordon PM, Panlilio MA, Schleper C, Sensen CW (2007) Elucidating the transcription cycle of the UV-inducible hyperthermophilic archaeal virus SSV1 by DNA microarrays. Virology 365: 48-59.

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