I am a PhD student in the Molecular Microbiology and Health research cluster at the institute of Biology of Leiden University. My research focuses on the morphology of Streptomycetes during submerged growth.
Understanding the morphology of liquid-grown Streptomycetes
Filamentous bacteria of the genus Streptomyces represent a rich source of antibiotics and enzymes used in industry. The growth of Streptomycetes under industrial settings is characterized by the formation of dense mycelial clumps called pellets. These pellets are heterogeneous in size, which poses limitations to the specific productivity. In my PhD project, I am dissecting the genetic factors that contribute to pellet formation and heterogeneity in streptomycetes. Using fluorescent Streptomyces strains and with automated image analysis, I recently discovered that the early aggregation of mycelial particles drives to size heterogeneity. Excitingly, mutants that are impaired in aggregation form particles that are homogeneous in size. We are currently exploiting this discovery to design Streptomyces cell factories that are optimal for production purposes.