PhD position to study the electron conductor in cable bacteria


Center for Electromicrobiology will be established at Aarhus University, Denmark, in October 2017 and we seek PhD students to join our endeavours to understand the metabolism, long-range electron conduction, and ecology of cable bacteria. Cable bacteria are centimetre long, multicellular, filamentous bacteria of the Desulfobulbaceae family and they live in aquatic sediments around the oxic-anoxic interface. They internally conduct electrons from oxidation of sulphide at the lower end to oxygen reduction at the upper end, probably via periplasmic strings. By what mechanisms and molecules the electrons are conducted are yet to be discovered and so are the associated cellular metabolisms and the interactions with other microorganisms. The cable bacteria’s filamentous, multicellular form with spatial separation of oxidation and reduction processes offers novel methodological options, while the present lack of pure cultures and any successful, direct interaction with electrodes are challenging obstacles.

For this call we specifically seek a qualified and motivated candidate to contribute to the identification and description of the cable bacterium conductor: What is the basic biomolecular structure? What genes are involved? How are the conductors assembled and where are they positioned? The present working hypothesis is a protein structure. Depending on the progress the PhD project may also encompass conduction mechanisms and the connections to cellular electron transport.

Applicants to the PhD position must have a relevant Master’s degree, and preferably have competences in biochemistry, molecular biology, and microbiology. Experience with transmission electron microscopy including immunoEM, biophysical techniques for protein characterization and methods in structural biology including crystallography will be an advantage.

See external link for details

Contact details: 
Thomas Boesen, tel. +45 28997699 or email; Lars Peter Nielsen, tel. +45 60202654 or email; Andreas Schramm, tel. +45 60202659 or email
Contact email address:
Expiration date: 
Tuesday, August 1, 2017