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

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Richard Meyer
Professor in Molecular Genetics & Microbiology

Main Office: NMS 1.124
Phone: (512) 471-3817

Alternate Office: NMS 1.202
Alt. Phone: (512) 471-0931

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

Richard Meyer

Research Summary

Conjugation is probably the most common mechanism for genetic exchange in bacteria. Bacteria can transfer DNA by conjugation not only between different species, but also into higher organisms such as plants and yeast. Antibiotic-resistance genes on plasmids are generally disseminated by conjugation, and as a result, these genes have become so widespread that many antibiotics have now become useless therapeutically. In our lab, we are investigating at a molecular level the events that occur when DNA is passed from one cell to another by conjugation. We are determining the different steps in plasmid DNA processing that are required for transfer, and also how this DNA is recognized by the transfer machinery. Our long-term objective is to develop strategies for limiting the spread of antibiotic resistance by bacterial plasmids.



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