UCMR Distinguished Guests Seminars Series – Edward Egelman

22 September 2022

Umeå Centre for Microbial Research, UCMR, invites to the next lecture in its seminar series in infection research on Tuesday 18 October at 13-14. You can participate both on site at KBC or via Zoom. Principal investigators, postdoctoral fellows, doctoral students and students are warmly welcomed to a lecture on Cryo-EM.

Speaker: Edward Egelman, Harrison Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, University of Virginia, USA

Lecture title: Cryo-EM of Helical Polymers: From Biology to Materials

Electron cryo-microscopy (cryo-EM) has emerged as the main technique for determining the atomic structure of macromolecular assemblies. Edward Egelman will discuss applications of cryo-EM to a range of polymers, including bacterial and archaeal pili, bacterial and archaeal flagella, bacterial and archaeal mating pili, extracellular cytochrome filaments that conduct electrons over long distances ("microbial nanowires") and filamentous viruses that infect hosts living in nearly boiling acid.

Watson and Crick observed in 1956 that almost all viruses were spherical (icosahedral) or rod-like (helical) and explained this in terms of symmetry: both allowed many copies of a single protein to encapsulate a genome. The basis for spindle-shaped viruses that infect archaea has therefore been a puzzle, as they cannot be explained by either icosahedral or helical symmetry. Egelman and his research group show how they actually evolved from helical archaeal viruses, driven by the need to package a larger genome, and that these capsids can be explained by the idea of quasi-equivalence, first postulated by Caspar and Klug in 1962 with regard to icosahedral viruses.

The powerful methods that have been developed in cryo-EM of biological complexes can now be readily applied to assemblies of peptides and small molecules. Cryo-EM is thus beginning to make a real impact in areas such as materials science, soft matter and chemistry.

More information and registration:

Time: 18 October at 13-14
Venue: Stora hörsalen KBC (KBE3030). Find the room
Online option: Please register if you would like to participate via Zoom: Registration
Host: Magnus Andersson, Department of Physics

More information on UCMR webpage


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