Bark and Bite: a Comparative Genomics Approach to Unwind Uncertainties in Treponeme Biology, Taxonomy and Pathogenicity
Dr Watt, Rory Munro (Principal investigator)
Oral Microbiome, Periodontal Disease Etiology, Bacterial Genomics, Treponema, Cell Surface Proteins
Biology and Medicine (M)
RGC General Research Fund (GRF)
HKU Project Code
General Research Fund (GRF)
2 Utilize a range of bioinformatic approaches to define a ‘core’ set of genes for each species; establish inter-strain and inter-species phylogenetic relationships, and identify genetic ‘markers’ indicative of host, niche and disease-specificity 3 Analyze and compare the distribution and composition of genes known to encode key virulence factors; especially cell surface-exposed adhesins and secreted hydrolytic enzymes including glycosidases and proteases. 4 Compare and contrast the biochemical activities of conserved protease/peptidase homologues of poorly-defined function: e.g. oligopeptidase B, proline oligopeptidase and proline iminopeptidase; to establish their putative physiological roles within each species. Determine their potential involvement in disease-related processes, by evaluating their ability to hydrolyze host proteins, structural glycoproteins and bioactive peptides.