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Ashley Brown

The impact of radiation fluxes on microbial cells: a metabolomic approach

    This BBSRC funded project utilises the facilities and expertise of the Williamson Research Centre for Molecular Environmental Science, MIB, School of Chemistry, the Sellafield DTC and the National Nuclear Lab (CASE sponsor) to determine the impact of radiation fluxes on a range of microbial cells.

High radiation fluxes have been shown be tolerated by a few specialist organisms with very active DNA repair mechanisms such as Deinococcus, although exciting new data suggest that radiation can have unexpected beneficial impacts on microbes such as fungi, which may be able to convert ionising radiation into biochemical energy via pigments such as melanin.  This project uses state of the art metabolomic techniques to address the physiological adaptations to high radiation fluxes of key microorganisms, including carefully selected fungi, algae and bacteria, giving much needed information on microbial detoxification and novel energy generating systems.