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Dr. L. A. Kulakov

Dr. Leonid Kulakov
Dr. Leonid Kulakov
Lecturer in Environmental Microbiology

BSc  Biology (Distinction), 1975, Gorky State University, Russia;
PhD Genetics, 1982, Institute of Genetics and Selection of Industrial
Microorganisms, Moscow, Russia.

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Contact Information
Tel:  +44 (0)28 9097 2799 (Direct line)
Fax:  +44 (0)28 9097 5877
Email:  l.kulakov@qub.ac.uk
Room:  Medical Biology Centre - 0G.413B

Research Interests

My main interests are in molecular biology and genetics of environmentally important micro-organisms, evolution of microbial genome and developing of biocatalysts using molecular biological approaches.  I am particularly interested in exploiting metagenomics for studying mechanisms of the genetic exchange between distantly related bacteria in the environment and bio-prospecting industrially important genes.

In 2007 we started working with bacterial viruses (bacteriophages).  Bacteriophages are the most abundant biological entities on the Earth; they play an essential role in the dynamics of natural microbial populations and can be important in the control of many biological processes.  We conduct genomic analysis of P. aeruginosa phages in collaboration with Prof. Rob Lavigne group (Division of Gene Technology, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium).  We investigated genomes of phiKMV-like viruses that comprise an important genus of T7 related phages infecting Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and discovered that these bacteriophages have localized single-strand interruptions (nicks) in their DNA (Kulakov et al., 2009).  Our recent data suggest that localized nicks are essential for bacteriophage interaction with their bacterial host.

Other Information

Member of the Society for General Microbiology  Member of the QUESTOR Centre.