Deciphering operon variability and its regulation in mycobacteria using third-generation sequencing

Irilenia Nobeli (primary)
Biological Sciences
Dr Kristine Arnvig (secondary)
Structural and Molecular Biology


Advances in the methods profiling transcriptomes have offered new insights into bacterial operons. What were once thought to be relatively simple and stable units of transcription have been shown to be surprisingly dynamic in response to environmental challenges experienced by bacteria. In this project we will harness the power of third generation (long-read) sequencing and computational biology methods to analyse operon variability in mycobacterial genomes and investigate its regulation by protein and non-coding RNAs.


1. Jacob, F. & Monod, J. (1961) Genetic regulatory mechanisms in the synthesis of proteins. J Mol Biol 3:318.
2. Mao, X. et al. (2015). Revisiting operons: an analysis of the landscape of transcriptional units in E. coli. BMC Bioinformatics 16:356.
3. Grainger, D.C. (2016) The unexpected complexity of bacterial genomes. Microbiology 162:1167.
4. Warrier, I. et al. (2018) The transcriptional landscape of Streptococcus pneumoniae reveals a complex operon architecture and abundant riboregulation critical for growth and virulence. bioRxiv preprint; doi:
5. Yan et al. (2018) . SMRT-Cappable-seq reveals complex operon variants in bacteria. bioRxiv preprint.

Genes, development and STEM* approaches to biology
Area of Biology
Techniques & Approaches
BioinformaticsMathematics / StatisticsMolecular Biology