Welcome to the Hutchings group website.Our lab is at the University of East Anglia, on the Norwich Research Park, and our research is focussed on microbes, but spans ecology, evolutionary biology and natural product chemistry. Bacteria are incredibly successful and all plants and animals form stable interactions with bacteria at some stage in their life cycle. These interactions can have positive or negative effects on host fitness. For example, our gut bacteria are essential to our health but a handful of species also cause disease. We are trying to understand how bacteria form stable interactions with plants and animals using leafcutter ants as a model. Leaf-cutter ants use antibiotic-producing bacteria to protect themselves against infection. We are also exploring unusual ecological niches, such as leaf-cutter nests and the Celtic Sea bed to find new bacterial species that make novel antibiotics. Finally we are interested in how actinomycete bacteria regulate antibiotic production with a long term goal of rewiring natural signalling networks to force these bacteria to make interesting and useful natural products.
Last updated 8th September 2016.