Paul Richard Yulo

Doctor of Philosophy, (Genetics)
Study Completed: 2019
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Evolution of the Spherical Cell Shape in Bacteria

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Bacteria come in different shapes that directly influence growth and survival. Despite the importance of cell shape, little is known about how these different shapes evolved. In particular, the evolution of spherical bacteria from a rod-shaped ancestor is poorly understood. Using experimental evolution, Mr Yulo investigated how a previously rod-shaped organism was able to evolve into a new spherical organism. He found that bacteria are able to adapt to a new spherical shape by modifying the timing and coordination of cell wall production and cell division. His findings add new insight into how bacteria make and maintain cell shape, and how these mechanisms can be altered through evolution to produce new cell shapes.

Dr Heather Hendrickson
Professor Murray Cox
Dr Olin Silander