Biology of Clostridium botulinum

Prof. Mike Peck

Group Leader

Group: Peck group



Research in our group is focused on basic and strategic aspects of the physiology and molecular biology of Clostridium botulinum. The deadly botulinum neurotoxin formed by this bacterium is responsible for foodborne botulism, a severe and costly disease. We contribute to ensure food safety for future foods, by responding to consumer demand for greater food choice and quality (e.g. more “fresh-like” foods), extending shelf-life, reducing salt, sugar or preservatives, and increased food sustainability (e.g. waste reduction).

We use anaerobic microbiology, various molecular and physiological approaches, imaging and metabolomics to learn about C. botulinum, how it forms its neurotoxin, how spores germinate and single spore/cell heterogeneity. We use whole genome sequencing and associated bioinformatic analysis to study genomic variation.

Our research is helping to ensure microbial food safety in the food chain. We collaborate closely with policy makers and the food industry, for example in the development of novel mildly heated refrigerated foods that are safe as well as appealing to customers.


Peck group
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditDigg thisShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Pin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Our Targets

Targeting food safety

Food Safety

Targeting Future Foods

Future Foods

Related News

Diversity in C. botulinum germination


Discovery of mechanism for transfer of botulinum neurotoxin genes

awaiting image

New research quantifies Clostridium botulinum spores in raw food materials

awaiting image

Spores for thought: study provides new insights into Clostridium spores

awaiting image

Is food a possible route of Clostridium difficile infection?

awaiting image