Modifying the quantity and quality of the exopolysaccharide xanthan by genetic engineering of the Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris genome sequence

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The γ-proteobacterium Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (Xcc) B100 synthesizes the exopolysaccharide (EPS) xanthan. Xanthan is produced in huge amounts for the food and cosmetic industry as for technical applications. Since xanthan cannot be re-metabolized by Xanthomonas, the cells have to make a principal decision to invest energy and metabolites in cell growth and division or in the production of xanthan. In our previous work we established the genome sequence (Vorhölter et al. 2008) of a model strain as for production strains of Xcc. On this basis extensive research was carried out on the transcriptome (micro arrays and RNAseq), proteome (2D-gels; MALDI-TOF-MS) and metabolome (GC-MS) level (Schatschneider et al., 2014, 2011; Frese et al., 2014; Musa et al, 2013; Sidhu et al, 2008). A metabolic flux model (Schatschneider et al., 2013) was established to simulate the redirection of metabolites during the growth of this microbe and to optimize xanthan production.

Aims of the project:
The chemo-physical properties of xanthan are influenced by the non-sugar substitutions, the length of the polymer chain and potentially by molecular interactions of xanthan molecules during the phase of biosynthesis. Aim of this Ph.D. project is to influence these properties by over/under-expression of genes related to xanthan biosynthesis and export of the polymer. Part of this project is the development of genetic tools to regulate gene expression of xanthan related genes in Xcc.
Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris

How to apply:
Applications for fellowships with the CLIB-Graduate Cluster Industrial Biotechnology are centrally collected during the application call and distributed to the project leaders after the deadline. Please do not send your application by email. The application website will be open from 22 Oct - 15 Nov 2015. The application is a two-step process:
1. Online Application Form
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  • Prepare one pdf file with all your relevant certificates (for example your Masters degree, transcript of records, your secondary school leaving certificate, a brief CV, TOEFL etc.). Please include also a motivation letter.

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Working hours
Contract duration
Type of job
PhD Project
Work experience
job experience is not required
Germany (Nordrhein-Westfalen)
Working place
33615 Bielefeld, NRW
Area of expertise
Biology & Life Sciences, Biotechnology

About Universität Bielefeld

Bielefeld University combines classical academic tradition with innovative research and teaching. It was founded as a new type of university in 1969 with the aims of re-establishing the unity between research and teaching advocated by Humboldt, and of opening up the frontiers between the disciplines. The university has succeeded in maintaining and developing essential elements of this reform...

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