Sokolova Laboratory

Start date – December 2018

Bacteriophages are the most abundant organisms in the biosphere; they are present everywhere – from seabeds to mountain peaks.  While not being able to replicate themselves in the absence of bacterial cells, bacteriophages evolved numerous elegant strategies for efficient takeover of the host physiology and metabolism. As a result, they are not only interesting objects of basic research but serve as a rich source of new enzymes useful for biotechnological applications.  We investigate phages infecting thermophilic bacteria, enigmatic giant phage group and a recently discovered group of crAss-like phages, which includes the most abundant phages of the human gut. Particularly we are interested in understanding the transcriptional strategies used by these phages and characterization of their novel non-canonical RNA polymerases.

Our approaches include transcriptomic analysis, biochemical characterization of new enzymes and protein structure determination in collaboration with other laboratories.


Supervisor – Maria Sokolova

Team:  Sofya Panafidina
Investigation of RNA polymerase encoded by AR9 phage, a phage with uracil-containing DNA genome

University of Texas Medical Branch, USA, Professor Petr Leiman


Linnaeus University, Sweden, Professor Karin Holmfeldt

Summer school for undergraduate students