The College of Natural Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin

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Makkuni Jayaram
Professor in Molecular Genetics & Microbiology

Main Office: NMS 2.116
Phone: (512) 471-0966

Alternate Office: NMS 2.210
Alt. Phone: (512) 471-5537

Mailing Address
The University of Texas at Austin
Section of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
2506 Speedway Stop A5000
Austin ,TX 78712-1191

Makkuni Jayaram

Research Summary

We study the molecular mechanisms by which extrachromosomal DNA elements maintain themselves stably and at relatively high copy numbers without endangering their host organisms. The model system we employ is the 2 micron plasmid of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The plasmid has a copy number of approximately 60 per cell, and is rarely lost during cell division. The high plasmid stability is ensured by a partitioning system that includes two plasmid proteins and a cis-acting DNA locus. The plasmid also utilizes an amplification mechanism to compensate for rare stochastic downward fluctuations in copy number. A site-specific DNA recombination system encoded by the plasmid is responsible for this copy number control.

The research projects in the laboratory explore recombination mechanisms, test models for recombination mediated DNA amplification and examine plasmid segregation using tools of molecular genetics and cell biology.



Bio Sci students