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MapRNA: Mapping RNA-RNA pairings in vivo in bacteria and their importance in fast acclimation processes

The project “MapRNA” combines innovative technologies to generate complete maps of interactions between small non-coding RNAs (sRNAs) and their targets in two different bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus as a major pathogen and Synechocystis 6803, as a major model for prokaryotic photosynthetic biotechnology. Particularly, methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) strains at the hospital are a major life-threatening problem causing about 25,000 deaths per year in Europe, but community-associated MRSA strains appear even more virulent and transmissible.

Bacteria possess a large number of regulatory sRNAs that are key players in biological signaling networks. However, they are less well studied than regulatory proteins because their direct targets are difficult to identify. The two MapRNA partner groups will combine their complementary expertise at the interface of bioinformatics, experimental RNA biology, and microbial system biology to fundamentally improve this situation. The results will allow deep insight into the regulatory mechanisms at the molecular level and help to identify novel therapeutical targets and to enhance the yield from photobiotechnology.

MapRNA will deepen the already excellent relationship between the Universities of Strasbourg and of Freiburg and will promote the mobility and interculturality between our students and researchers contributing to the spirit of the European Campus.


Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Hess (Universität Freiburg)

Prof. Dr. Pascale Romby (Universität Strasbourg)