Temperature adaptation in bacteria

Jarno Mäkelä research group

We aim to understand how different bacteria can grow across a large temperature range from 0 to 100 degrees of Celsius. We focus on how temperature affects the physicochemical properties of the bacterial cytoplasm and what the consequences to cellular processes are. In a highly complex and dynamic interaction network of a cell, resulting large-scale perturbations could be disastrous to cellular function.

To study this, we use super-resolution microscopy and single molecule tracking in live cells to record the localization and movement patterns of individual molecules such as RNA polymerase or ribosome. Single molecule dynamics report on the molecular interactions in real-time, acting as a probe for changes in the cellular environment. The technique can be applied to almost any organism, including archaea and eukaryotes.

The obtained knowledge will help us to understand microorganisms’ adaptation to different temperatures and the limits of cellular life. The research will also contribute to the development of robust synthetic biology applications and novel assay solutions.


Jarno Mäkelä

Academy Research Fellow

Institute of Biotechnology, HiLIFE 

Biocenter 3

P.O.Box 65 (street address: Viikinkaari 19) 

00014 University of Helsinki


Email: jarno.p.makela@helsinki.fi

Jarno is a Principal Investigator/Academy Research Fellow at BI.