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Dr James Locke


Dynamic Cyanobacterial gene regulation at the single cell level.   

The circadian (24 hour) clock controls key pathways throughout the day and night in almost all organisms. Reports suggest that a substantial part of the cyanobacterial genome is regulated by the circadian clock. The clock has been shown to consist of only 3 genes, KAIABC. However, a recent paper (1) revealed  other oscillators in cyanobacteria. In a KAIBC null, 17 genes oscillated with a 24 hour period.   

We wish to characterise these circadian independent oscillators because they point towards the existence of another oscillator other than the KaiABC clock. We are interested in understanding the expression dynamics of these genes using single cell time lapse microscopy and gene circuit modelling. Our interest in these genes stems from the fact that, as we understand the oscillation dynamics and function of these genes we might be able to uncover proof of other oscillators in cyanobacteria working in tandem with the KaiABC clock. 


  1. Ito H. et al.,  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009;106:14168-73
  2. JCW Locke et al., Science, 2011 Oct 21;334(6054):366-9
  3. JW Young,  PNAS, 2013, 110(10), 4140-5