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Dr Martin Day 


Telephone:+44 (0)29 208 75768
Fax:+44 (0)29 208 74305
Location:Cardiff School of Biosciences, Main Building, Museum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AT

Research Overview

Work by Dr Day’s group has most recently centered on an analysis of small colony variants (SCVs) of Staphylococcus aureus.  These are opportunistic pathogens and can cause devastating infections in people.  We have used simple laboratory techniques aswell as molecular biology and genomic approaches.

Many SCVs have a different mutational basis and so although they appear to be the same they have subtle differences due to the mutational loci affected.  So in an analogy to the premise in the book by George Orwell - Animal Farm – all SCVs are equal, but some are more equal than others.    We are attempting to define these differences and so provide an understanding their biology and so explain how they are such potent opportunistic bacterial pathogens.  The ‘end product’ is to develop strategies to treat their infection and provide indications of potential metabolic targets for their treatment.

In the past I have looked at conjugation (plasmid) in novel and laboratory bacteria, transformation (DNA release and uptake) and transduction (phage mediated) in rivers, soil, plant associated sites.  We were the first to demonstrate plasmid exchange in situ (in rivers) with indigenous active plasmids (1980-1995).  Later we extended this work into the rhizosphere and showed what a common feature of microbial life such gene exchange is.  The work then progressed to look at transformation, and we were the first laboratory to show transformation in situ in aquatic environments.

Research Division

Organisms and Environment