Rewiring of cellular energy metabolism during evolution and in the laboratory

Jürg Bähler (primary)
Institute of Healthy Ageing, Dept. of Genetics, Evolution & Environments
Snezhana Oliferenko (secondary)
Randall Centre, FoLSM
King’s College London (on secondment to the Francis Crick Institute)


Energy metabolism is fundamental to life. We want to understand how energy metabolism adapts to different lifestyles, and how its key processes can be altered. We work with two species of yeast that differ in their energy metabolism, with one yeast being capable of growing without respiration and oxygen. The student will 1) dissect the genetic and physiological characteristics determining these striking metabolic differences, and 2) genetically edit yeast cells in order to rewire their energy metabolism. This research will provide unique insights into metabolic changes occurring during ageing and associated diseases as well as potential biotechnological applications.


Kamrad S, Grossbach J, Rodríguez-López M, Townsend StJ, Mülleder M, Cappelletti V, Stojanovski G, Picotti P, Beyer A, Ralser M, Bähler J (2020). Pyruvate kinase variant of fission yeast tunes carbon metabolism, cell regulation, growth and stress resistance. Molecular Systems Biology 16:e9270

Makarova, M, Peter, M., Balogh, G., Glatz, A., MacRae, J., Lopez Mora, N., Booth, P., Makeyev, E., Vigh, L. and S. Oliferenko. 2020. Delineating the rules for structural adaptation of membrane-associated proteins to evolutionary changes in membrane lipidome. Current Biology. 30:367-380

Jeffares DC, Rallis C, Rieux A, Speed D, …., Bähler J. 2015. The genomic and phenotypic diversity of Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Nature Genetics. 47:235-241

Malecki M, Bitton DA, Rodríguez-López M, Rallis C, Garcia Calavia N, Smith GC, Bähler J (2016). Functional and regulatory profiling of energy metabolism in fission yeast. Genome Biology 17:240

Pieper, G., Sprenger, S., Teis, D. and S. Oliferenko. 2020. ESCRT-III/Vps4 controls heterochromatin-nuclear envelope attachments. Developmental Cell 53:27-41

Genes, development and STEM* approaches to biology
Area of Biology
AgeingBiotechnologyCell BiologyEvolutionGeneticsMicrobiology
Techniques & Approaches
BiochemistryBioinformaticsEngineeringGeneticsImage ProcessingMathematics / StatisticsMicroscopy / ElectrophysiologyMolecular Biology