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Gordon Research Conference: Mechanisms of Microbial Transcription. (July 28 – Aug 2, 2019): Bryce Nickels

As part of its mission to encourage engagement within the genetics community, PLOS Genetics is sponsoring a number of conferences and meetings this year. In order to raise awareness about these conferences and the researchers who attend them, we are featuring a number of the conferences on Biologue, with posts written by the organizers, or the PLOS Genetics editors who are involved. Bryce Nickels is Co-Vice Chair of the Gordon Research Conference on Mechanisms of Microbial Transcription.


The inaugural Gordon Research Conference on “Mechanisms of Microbial Transcription” will be held July 28th through August 2nd at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.

The meeting will cover a broad range of topics related to the mechanism and regulation of transcription in bacteria. Transcription in all cells is performed by members of a family of multi-subunit RNA polymerases (RNAP) that are highly conserved from bacteria to humans. The bacterial RNAP is the smallest and best characterized member of the multi-subunit RNAP family. Therefore, bacterial RNAP is the model system of choice for detailed structural and mechanistic studies of transcription. Furthermore, the study of bacterial RNAP continues to illuminate key paradigms relevant to transcriptional control in all organisms. Accordingly, this meeting will be of interest to researchers studying gene regulation in any system.

In all cells the control of RNAP activity is a central node in the regulation of gene expression. In recent years, research on microbial transcription has expanded rapidly due to new atomic-level structures of prokaryotic, archaeal, and eukaryotic RNA polymerases and their respective transcription factors in combination with systems-wide profiling of gene regulatory events. Together these studies have revealed the fundamental principles that underlie transcription and its regulation among bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes. In addition, bacterial RNAP is a proven target for antimicrobial therapy. Thus, principles that emerge from studies of RNAP and its regulation in microbial systems permit development of strategies to control microbial pathogens.

Session topics will cover the mechanism and regulation of transcription initiation, elongation, and termination in both model microbes and microbial pathogens; RNA-based control; transcriptional networks; connections between cell topology and gene expression; and the latest news on “the trigger loop.” The meeting promises to be of a size and complexity that befit the import role of RNAP in all cells.

For complete details see:


Featured image credit: Korkhin et al. PLOS Biology.

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