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Overview

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The Society for General Microbiology Annual Conference 2015 was held from the 30 March to 2 April at the ICC, Birmingham, UK.

The Society’s Annual Conference attracts over 1,000 attendees from the UK and further afield and is Europe’s largest annual gathering of microbiologists. Whether you are a veteran microbiologist or just starting out in your career, attending the Society for General Microbiology Annual Conference is a must for all of those with an interest in microbiology.

If you have any questions please email conferences@microbiologysociety.org

Follow us on Twitter (@MicrobioSoc). Information on the Annual Conference 2015 can be found using the hashtag: #sgmbham

 

Programme

Session

Session View

Monday 30 March, Morning

Natural and unnatural virus evolution

This symposium will delve into the evolution of human, animal and plant viruses. As well as considering natural evolution, the impact of human intervention will be explored; to what extent do vaccination and antiviral treatment drive selection? Have we learnt any lessons about the injudicious use of antimicrobials? Genetic engineering (including ‘gain-of-function’ studies) can aid our understanding of what makes viruses tick, but should studies that generate potentially dangerous viruses be censored – or not conducted in the first place? This and who should decide (science or society?) will be debated.

Organisers

Janet Daly (University of Nottingham, UK), Alain Kohl (University of Glasgow, UK), Wendy Barclay (Imperial College London, UK)

The building blocks of microbial evolution

Microbial evolution is key to understanding many aspects of biology including ecology, life at extremes of temperature, pressure and aridity as well as pathogenicity. With the latter in mind, it was important to develop the symposium to illustrate that these interactions are as old as life itself, though at a more basal level! This symposium will bring together many leading microbiologists working in a diverse range of specialties related to early microbial evolution that would be of interest to many delegates. The intended audience will be wide-ranging and include many who have an interest in the diverse aspects of paleobiology, ecology as well as pathogenicity.

Organisers

Derek Pickard (Sanger Institute, UK), Richard McCulloch (University of Glasgow, UK), Thorsten Allers (University of Nottingham, UK)

Monday 30 March, Afternoon

Natural and unnatural virus evolution

This symposium will delve into the evolution of human, animal and plant viruses. As well as considering natural evolution, the impact of human intervention will be explored; to what extent do vaccination and antiviral treatment drive selection? Have we learnt any lessons about the injudicious use of antimicrobials? Genetic engineering (including ‘gain-of-function’ studies) can aid our understanding of what makes viruses tick, but should studies that generate potentially dangerous viruses be censored – or not conducted in the first place? This and who should decide (science or society?) will be debated.

Organisers

Janet Daly (University of Nottingham, UK), Alain Kohl (University of Glasgow, UK), Wendy Barclay (Imperial College London, UK)

The building blocks of microbial evolution

Microbial evolution is key to understanding many aspects of biology including ecology, life at extremes of temperature, pressure and aridity as well as pathogenicity. With the latter in mind, it was important to develop the symposium to illustrate that these interactions are as old as life itself, though at a more basal level! This symposium will bring together many leading microbiologists working in a diverse range of specialties related to early microbial evolution that would be of interest to many delegates. The intended audience will be wide-ranging and include many who have an interest in the diverse aspects of paleobiology, ecology as well as pathogenicity.

Organisers

Derek Pickard (Sanger Institute, UK), Richard McCulloch (University of Glasgow, UK), Thorsten Allers (University of Nottingham, UK)

Sensory perception in microbes: coping with change

While very significant advances have been made in recent years in understanding how microbes respond to changes in their environment, in terms of gene expression and metabolism, much less is known about how environmental cues are detected in the first instance. This meeting aims to bring together some exciting recent advances in our understanding of the mechanisms that allow microbes to perceive their environments and how these sensory signals are integrated into pathways that generate appropriate outputs.

Organisers

Conor O’Byrne (NUI Galway, Ireland), Peter Lund (University of Birmingham, UK)

Tuesday 31 March, Morning

Microbiome in health and disease

Natural and unnatural virus evolution

This symposium will delve into the evolution of human, animal and plant viruses. As well as considering natural evolution, the impact of human intervention will be explored; to what extent do vaccination and antiviral treatment drive selection? Have we learnt any lessons about the injudicious use of antimicrobials? Genetic engineering (including ‘gain-of-function’ studies) can aid our understanding of what makes viruses tick, but should studies that generate potentially dangerous viruses be censored – or not conducted in the first place? This and who should decide (science or society?) will be debated.

Organisers

Janet Daly (University of Nottingham, UK), Alain Kohl (University of Glasgow, UK), Wendy Barclay (Imperial College London, UK)

Sensory perception in microbes: coping with change

While very significant advances have been made in recent years in understanding how microbes respond to changes in their environment, in terms of gene expression and metabolism, much less is known about how environmental cues are detected in the first instance. This meeting aims to bring together some exciting recent advances in our understanding of the mechanisms that allow microbes to perceive their environments and how these sensory signals are integrated into pathways that generate appropriate outputs.

Organisers

Conor O’Byrne (NUI Galway, Ireland), Peter Lund (University of Birmingham, UK)

The building blocks of microbial evolution

Microbial evolution is key to understanding many aspects of biology including ecology, life at extremes of temperature, pressure and aridity as well as pathogenicity. With the latter in mind, it was important to develop the symposium to illustrate that these interactions are as old as life itself, though at a more basal level! This symposium will bring together many leading microbiologists working in a diverse range of specialties related to early microbial evolution that would be of interest to many delegates. The intended audience will be wide-ranging and include many who have an interest in the diverse aspects of paleobiology, ecology as well as pathogenicity.

Organisers

Derek Pickard (Sanger Institute, UK), Richard McCulloch (University of Glasgow, UK), Thorsten Allers (University of Nottingham, UK)

Tuesday 31 March, Afternoon

Clinical Virology Network Annual Meeting

This workshop will involve a range of clinical virology cases or short papers which relate to studies relevant to clinical virology network. Different aspects of clinical virology that will be covered include differential diagnosis of encephalitis, management of hepatitis, diversity of rotavirus sequences, and diagnosis of respiratory infections.

Organisers

Mirren Iturriza-Gomara (University of Liverpool, UK), Kevin Brown (Public Health England, UK)

Microbiome in health and disease

Microbiome in Health and Disease: For this session we have invited world leading scientists in the area to provide insight into how the microbiome interacts with the host and promotes/maintains health and its role in disease. This is a rapidly growing field and the speakers will provide us with current information on various microbiomes in the human body.

Organisers

Julian Marchesi (University of Cardiff, UK), Sandra Macfarlane (University of Dundee, UK)

Natural and unnatural virus evolution

This symposium will delve into the evolution of human, animal and plant viruses. As well as considering natural evolution, the impact of human intervention will be explored; to what extent do vaccination and antiviral treatment drive selection? Have we learnt any lessons about the injudicious use of antimicrobials? Genetic engineering (including ‘gain-of-function’ studies) can aid our understanding of what makes viruses tick, but should studies that generate potentially dangerous viruses be censored – or not conducted in the first place? This and who should decide (science or society?) will be debated.

Organisers

Janet Daly (University of Nottingham, UK), Alain Kohl (University of Glasgow, UK), Wendy Barclay (Imperial College London, UK)

Sensory perception in microbes: coping with change

While very significant advances have been made in recent years in understanding how microbes respond to changes in their environment, in terms of gene expression and metabolism, much less is known about how environmental cues are detected in the first instance. This meeting aims to bring together some exciting recent advances in our understanding of the mechanisms that allow microbes to perceive their environments and how these sensory signals are integrated into pathways that generate appropriate outputs.

Organisers

Conor O’Byrne (NUI Galway, Ireland), Peter Lund (University of Birmingham, UK)

The building blocks of microbial evolution

Microbial evolution is key to understanding many aspects of biology including ecology, life at extremes of temperature, pressure and aridity as well as pathogenicity. With the latter in mind, it was important to develop the symposium to illustrate that these interactions are as old as life itself, though at a more basal level! This symposium will bring together many leading microbiologists working in a diverse range of specialties related to early microbial evolution that would be of interest to many delegates. The intended audience will be wide-ranging and include many who have an interest in the diverse aspects of paleobiology, ecology as well as pathogenicity.

Organisers

Derek Pickard (Sanger Institute, UK), Richard McCulloch (University of Glasgow, UK), Thorsten Allers (University of Nottingham, UK)

Association of Applied Biologists: Advances in plant virology

The programme for this conference will be open to any topics or areas within basic or applied plant virology, will include all current areas of interest to Plant Virologists and will consist of presentations by invited speakers as well as offered papers by conference delegates. We welcome submissions from established researchers, post-docs and students. The meeting will include the student competitions as outlined below. Invited speakers include: Neil Boonham, The Food and Environment Agency, UK; Manfred Heinlein, French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS); Marilyn Roossinck, Penn State University, USA.

Organisers

Association of Applied Biologists

Wednesday 01 April, Morning

Association of Applied Biologists: Advances in plant virology

The programme for this conference will be open to any topics or areas within basic or applied plant virology, will include all current areas of interest to Plant Virologists and will consist of presentations by invited speakers as well as offered papers by conference delegates. We welcome submissions from established researchers, post-docs and students. The meeting will include the student competitions as outlined below. Invited speakers include: Neil Boonham, The Food and Environment Agency, UK; Manfred Heinlein, French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS); Marilyn Roossinck, Penn State University, USA.

Organisers

Association of Applied Biologists

Clinical Virology Network Annual Meeting

This workshop will involve a range of clinical virology cases or short papers which relate to studies relevant to clinical virology network. Different aspects of clinical virology that will be covered include differential diagnosis of encephalitis, management of hepatitis, diversity of rotavirus sequences, and diagnosis of respiratory infections.

Organisers

Mirren Iturriza-Gomara (University of Liverpool, UK), Kevin Brown (Public Health England, UK)

Environmental and applied microbiology forum

Offered papers are welcomed focusing on any area in microbial ecology, including (non-human) host-microbe communities and interactions, marine and freshwater microbiology, soil and geomicrobiology, and air-, cryo- and extremophile microbiology. Papers on microbe-mediated biodegradation and bioremediation will also be welcome.

Organisers

Geertje van Keulen (Swansea University, UK), Ryan Seipke (University of Leeds, UK)

Microbial archaeology

Over the past 10 years the development of whole genome amplification, next generation sequencing and and mass-spectrophotometry techniques has allowed researchers to deep sequence ancient DNA, and analyse lipds and poteins in archeological samples. This session will illustrate how researchers are taking advantage of this capability to study pathogens (i.e. Y. pestis, TB, leprosy, potato blight) associated with past infections of animals, humans and plants. The application of metagenomic approaches to study ancient microbiomes will be illustrated by a talk on the ancient oral microbiome.

Organisers

Justin Pachebat (Aberystwyth University, UK), Mick Tuite (University of Kent, UK)

Mitochondria and related organelles in microbial eukaryotes

Over the past 1 to 2 billion years of evolution, microbial eukaryotes have invaded a wide spectrum of habitats on our planet, and as a result we are observing a broad variety of organisms with unique adaptations on their external and internal morphology including their organelles. For example, a lot of these unicellular organisms have adapted to the low oxygen environments by the loss of aerobic respiration and by modifying their mitochondria into one of a number of types of mitochondrion-related organelles (MROs), including the hydrogen producing “hydrogenosomes” and or the entirely remnant mitochondria so-called “mitosomes”. Functions that have been considered a prerequisite for the existence of canonical mitochondria or the cell itself such as oxidative phosphorylation, heme and phospholipids biosynthesis, calcium homeostasis, programmed cell death and iron-sulphur cluster assembly, are currently eliminated one-by-one in a range of eukaryotic cells and more questions are arising on the roles of mitochondria in the different organisms and subsequently the raison d’etre of the organelle itself. Despite this diversification, all known eukaryotes possess an organelle of mitochondrial origin, suggesting the origin of mitochondria to the last eukaryotic common ancestor.

Organisers

Anastasios Tsaousis (University of Kent, UK), Campbell Gourlay (University of Kent, UK)

Prokaryotic microbial infection forum

Offered papers will be welcome in any area related to infections caused by prokaryotes of human, veterinary or botanical significance including epidemiology, diagnosis, identification, typing, pathogenesis, treatment, antimicrobial agents and resistance, prevention, virulence factors, host responses and immunity, transmission, and models of infection at the cell, tissue or whole organism level. Papers on interactions between non-pathogenic prokaryotes or indigenous microbiota and the host will also be welcome.

Organisers

Petra Oyston, Gill Douce (University of Glasgow, UK), Jennifer Mitchell (University College Dublin, Ireland)

Virus workshop: Antivirals and vaccines

The availability of antiviral small molecules and vaccines has historically lagged behind those targeting bacteria. Accordingly, the public health issues represented by both common and emerging virus infections are considerable, with effective treatments lacking in many cases. Research aimed at translating laboratory findings into either novel or improved anti-viral strategies is therefore a priority. This workshop will highlight ongoing research into burgeoning therapies for important human and animal viral pathogens, encompassing all stages of therapeutic development ranging from the test tube to in vivo studies.

Organisers

Stephen Griffin (University of Leeds, UK), Wendy Barclay (Imperial College London, UK)

Virus workshop: Clinical virology

This workshop will involve a range of clinical virology cases or short papers which relate to studies relevant to clinical virology network. Different aspects of clinical virology that will be covered include differential diagnosis of encephalitis, management of hepatitis, diversity of rotavirus sequences, and diagnosis of respiratory infections.

Organisers

Mirren Iturriza-Gomara (University of Liverpool, UK), Kevin Brown (Public Health England, UK)

Virus workshop: Evolution and virus populations

Virus evolution can affect important characteristics such as replication host range, tropism, and pathogenesis. On the other hand, there are constraints imposed by nucleotide sequences and proteins they encode. This workshop will address questions related to the topics above.

Organisers

Alain Kohl (University of Glasgow, UK), Erica Bickerton (The Pirbright Institute, UK)

Virus workshop: Gene expression and replication

This workshop will focus on the regulation of viral and host gene expression at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional level by virally-encoded factors and address how viruses control the replication of their genomes.

Organisers

Michelle West (University of Sussex, UK), Joanna Parish (University of Birmingham, UK)

Virus workshop: Pathogenesis

Understanding disease development mechanistically at the cellular, genetic and whole organism level is a vital element in the development of novel therapeutic strategies such as vaccines and small molecule inhibitors. To this end, this workshop will serve as a forum for the presentation of new and exciting data pertaining to all aspects of the pathogenesis of virus infection.

Organisers

Janet Daly (University of Nottingham, UK)

Wednesday 01 April, Afternoon

Clinical Virology Network Annual Meeting

This workshop will involve a range of clinical virology cases or short papers which relate to studies relevant to clinical virology network. Different aspects of clinical virology that will be covered include differential diagnosis of encephalitis, management of hepatitis, diversity of rotavirus sequences, and diagnosis of respiratory infections.

Organisers

Mirren Iturriza-Gomara (University of Liverpool, UK), Kevin Brown (Public Health England, UK)

Microbial archaeology

Over the past 10 years the development of whole genome amplification, next generation sequencing and and mass-spectrophotometry techniques has allowed researchers to deep sequence ancient DNA, and analyse lipds and poteins in archeological samples. This session will illustrate how researchers are taking advantage of this capability to study pathogens (i.e. Y. pestis, TB, leprosy, potato blight) associated with past infections of animals, humans and plants. The application of metagenomic approaches to study ancient microbiomes will be illustrated by a talk on the ancient oral microbiome.

Organisers

Justin Pachebat (Aberystwyth University, UK), Mick Tuite (University of Kent, UK)

Mitochondria and related organelles in microbial eukaryotes

Over the past 1 to 2 billion years of evolution, microbial eukaryotes have invaded a wide spectrum of habitats on our planet, and as a result we are observing a broad variety of organisms with unique adaptations on their external and internal morphology including their organelles. For example, a lot of these unicellular organisms have adapted to the low oxygen environments by the loss of aerobic respiration and by modifying their mitochondria into one of a number of types of mitochondrion-related organelles (MROs), including the hydrogen producing “hydrogenosomes” and or the entirely remnant mitochondria so-called “mitosomes”. Functions that have been considered a prerequisite for the existence of canonical mitochondria or the cell itself such as oxidative phosphorylation, heme and phospholipids biosynthesis, calcium homeostasis, programmed cell death and iron-sulphur cluster assembly, are currently eliminated one-by-one in a range of eukaryotic cells and more questions are arising on the roles of mitochondria in the different organisms and subsequently the raison d’etre of the organelle itself. Despite this diversification, all known eukaryotes possess an organelle of mitochondrial origin, suggesting the origin of mitochondria to the last eukaryotic common ancestor.

Organisers

Anastasios Tsaousis (University of Kent, UK), Campbell Gourlay (University of Kent, UK)

Virus workshop: Antivirals and vaccines

The availability of antiviral small molecules and vaccines has historically lagged behind those targeting bacteria. Accordingly, the public health issues represented by both common and emerging virus infections are considerable, with effective treatments lacking in many cases. Research aimed at translating laboratory findings into either novel or improved anti-viral strategies is therefore a priority. This workshop will highlight ongoing research into burgeoning therapies for important human and animal viral pathogens, encompassing all stages of therapeutic development ranging from the test tube to in vivo studies.

Organisers

Stephen Griffin (University of Leeds, UK), Wendy Barclay (Imperial College London, UK)

Virus workshop: Evolution and virus populations

Virus evolution can affect important characteristics such as replication host range, tropism, and pathogenesis. On the other hand, there are constraints imposed by nucleotide sequences and proteins they encode. This workshop will address questions related to the topics above.

Organisers

Alain Kohl (University of Glasgow, UK), Erica Bickerton (The Pirbright Institute, UK)

Virus workshop: Gene expression and replication

This workshop will focus on the regulation of viral and host gene expression at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional level by virally-encoded factors and address how viruses control the replication of their genomes.

Organisers

Michelle West (University of Sussex, UK), Joanna Parish (University of Birmingham, UK)

Virus workshop: Pathogenesis

Understanding disease development mechanistically at the cellular, genetic and whole organism level is a vital element in the development of novel therapeutic strategies such as vaccines and small molecule inhibitors. To this end, this workshop will serve as a forum for the presentation of new and exciting data pertaining to all aspects of the pathogenesis of virus infection.

Organisers

Janet Daly (University of Nottingham, UK)

Microbes in space

The vast and hostile environment of outer space represents a major challenge to all forms of life; exposure to microgravity, extremes of temperature, galactic cosmic rays and solar energetic particles within a vacuum is guaranteed. However, experiments performed aboard Earth-orbiting spacecraft indicate that some microorganisms are able to survive outside these platforms for lengthy periods of time and there is compelling evidence that many microbes respond to the unique environment associated with spaceflight in ways that shed light on their adaptive behaviour. Currently, the primary platform for conducting research into the response of microbes to the space environment is the International Space Station, a facility supporting a number of well-equipped laboratories that has been continuously manned and able to conduct scientific experiments since 2000. Following a UK governmental decision in November 2012 to subscribe to the European Space Agency’s Programme for Life and Physical Sciences, it was recently announced that Major Tim Peake, the first Briton to be selected as an astronaut by ESA, will spend time on the ISS in late 2015. He will undertake scientific research with the potential to include microbiological experiments on his agenda. The session will present Major Peake’s plans and review the current state of knowledge of the behaviour of microbes in real and simulated space environments.

Organisers

Peter W. Taylor (University College London, UK)

Prokaryotic cell biology forum

This forum will consider work on all fundamental aspects of the physiology, biochemistry and structure of prokaryotic cells. This includes metabolism, synthesis and transport of macromolecules, membrane transport of ions and small molecules, the cell cycle, cell architecture, differentiation, sensing and cellular responses, signalling and communication, bioenergetics and the structure, function and mode of action of microbial factors. Papers on the engineering and applications of microbes will also be welcome.

Organisers

Mark Webber (University of Birmingham, UK), Stephen Michell (University of Exeter, UK)

Prokaryotic genetics forum

Offered papers on all aspects of the genes and genomes of prokaryotes and their mobile elements will be considered, including their sequencing, transcription, translation, regulation, chromosome dynamics, gene transfer, population genetics and evolution, taxonomy and systematics, comparative genomics, metagenomics, bioinformatics, and synthetic biology.

Organisers

Alan McNally (Nottingham Trent University, UK), Lori Snyder (Kingston University, UK)

Virus assembly and structure workshop

Viral structural proteins are integral for both protection and transmission of the viral genome once it is released from an infected cell. This workshop will focus on the molecular mechanisms that are required for assembly and release of virus particles within an infected cell, through to the structural alterations that take place within the virus particle during maturation and the entry process. The workshop will also cover antiviral strategies aimed at inhibiting the assembly process.

Organisers

Catherine Adamson (University of St. Andrews, UK)

Virus workshop: Innate immunity

The innate immune system represents the first line of defence of all living organisms against infection, and in recent years our knowledge of the battle between viruses and innate immunity has increased substantially. This workshop will highlight novel host defence mechanisms and uncover a myriad of virus evasion strategies.

Organisers

Wendy Barclay (Imperial College London, UK), Andrew Macdonald (University of Leeds, UK)

Virus workshop: Plant virology

The is a joint workshop co-hosted by the Microbiology Society Virus Division and the Association of Applied Biologists Plant Virology Group. The workshop will cover all aspects of applied plant virology from academic and translational research. The topics covered will include novel virus discovery, diagnostics, epidemiology, virus evolution, and plant-virus interactions.

Organisers

Adrian Fox (FERA, UK)

Thursday 02 April, Morning

Association of Applied Biologists: Advances in plant virology

The programme for this conference will be open to any topics or areas within basic or applied plant virology, will include all current areas of interest to Plant Virologists and will consist of presentations by invited speakers as well as offered papers by conference delegates. We welcome submissions from established researchers, post-docs and students. The meeting will include the student competitions as outlined below. Invited speakers include: Neil Boonham, The Food and Environment Agency, UK; Manfred Heinlein, French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS); Marilyn Roossinck, Penn State University, USA.

Organisers

Association of Applied Biologists

Clostridia – The good, the bad and the beautiful

Clostridium is an extremely varied, ancient genus of bacteria, which thrived and evolved in an atmosphere very dissimilar to the oxygen-rich environment of our modern world. Clostridia are anaerobic endospore formers and many of the pathogenic species such as Clostridium difficile, Clostridium perfringens and Clostridium botulinum, are familiar as a consequence of the diseases they cause. However, the vast majority of these species are benign and a number, including Clostridium acetobutylicum, have received increased attention due their capacity to generate commercially valuable commodities such as ethanol or butanol. This symposium will highlight some of the advances that have been made in our understanding of both pathogenic and non-pathogenic members of this genus and will additionally describe how Clostridia are being tested as novel therapeutics in the treatment of cancer or their products in the case of C. botulinum’s neurotoxin.

Organisers

Gillian Douce (University of Glasgow, UK), Sarah Kuehne (University of Nottingham, UK)

The rhizobiome

The root and rhizosphere microbiome is the microbial community that populates the microenvironment within and surrounding plant roots. Recent advances in genomics, transcriptomics and imaging technologies are enabling important new insights into the composition of this community, but there are still important challenges to address in understanding of the interplay between plant roots, root exudates and microbes and their impact on agricultural productivity and ecosystem function.

Organisers

Gail Preston (University of Oxford, UK), Philip Poole (University of Oxford, UK)

Virus assembly – Let’s get together and get out of here

Virus assembly is a complex, tightly regulated process that is essential for every virus. The symposium will cover the latest research in capsid assembly and structure, genome packaging, particle egress and maturation. Assembly of a range of different viruses will be covered including viruses that cause important medical diseases (HIV-1, Influenza, Picornaviruses and Herpesviruses), plant viruses (Cow Pea Mosaic virus), bacteriophage (phi29) and the giant Mimivirus.

Organisers

Catherine Adamson (University of St. Andrews, UK), Wendy Barclay (Imperial College London, UK), Nicola Stonehouse (University of Leeds, UK)

Thursday 02 April, Afternoon

Virus assembly – Let’s get together and get out of here

Virus assembly is a complex, tightly regulated process that is essential for every virus. The symposium will cover the latest research in capsid assembly and structure, genome packaging, particle egress and maturation. Assembly of a range of different viruses will be covered including viruses that cause important medical diseases (HIV-1, Influenza, Picornaviruses and Herpesviruses), plant viruses (Cow Pea Mosaic virus), bacteriophage (phi29) and the giant Mimivirus.

Organisers

Catherine Adamson (University of St. Andrews, UK), Wendy Barclay (Imperial College London, UK), Nicola Stonehouse (University of Leeds, UK)

Clostridia – The good, the bad and the beautiful

Clostridium is an extremely varied, ancient genus of bacteria, which thrived and evolved in an atmosphere very dissimilar to the oxygen-rich environment of our modern world. Clostridia are anaerobic endospore formers and many of the pathogenic species such as Clostridium difficile, Clostridium perfringens and Clostridium botulinum, are familiar as a consequence of the diseases they cause. However, the vast majority of these species are benign and a number, including Clostridium acetobutylicum, have received increased attention due their capacity to generate commercially valuable commodities such as ethanol or butanol. This symposium will highlight some of the advances that have been made in our understanding of both pathogenic and non-pathogenic members of this genus and will additionally describe how Clostridia are being tested as novel therapeutics in the treatment of cancer or their products in the case of C. botulinum’s neurotoxin.

Organisers

Gillian Douce (University of Glasgow, UK), Sarah Kuehne (University of Nottingham, UK)

The rhizobiome

The root and rhizosphere microbiome is the microbial community that populates the microenvironment within and surrounding plant roots. Recent advances in genomics, transcriptomics and imaging technologies are enabling important new insights into the composition of this community, but there are still important challenges to address in understanding of the interplay between plant roots, root exudates and microbes and their impact on agricultural productivity and ecosystem function.

Organisers

Gail Preston (University of Oxford, UK), Philip Poole (University of Oxford, UK)

Lecture View

Monday 30 March, Morning

Monday 30 March, Afternoon

Tuesday 31 March, Morning

Tuesday 31 March, Afternoon

Wednesday 01 April, Morning