Dr Paul Herron

Senior Lecturer

Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences

Personal statement

Paul Herron is a Senior Lecturer in Microbiology. He graduated from Liverpool Polytechnic before carrying put a PhD in Microbiology at the University of Warwick. After two years at the Agricultural University Wageningen he moved to the University of Wales Swansea where he developed transposon tools for mutagenesis of streptomycetes.


Adaptation to endophytic lifestyle through genome reduction by Kitasatospora sp. SUK42
Zin Noraziah M, Ismail Aisha, Mark David R, Westrop Gareth, Schniete Jana K, Herron Paul
Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology (2021)
Differential transcription of expanded gene families in central carbon metabolism of Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2)
Schniete Jana K, Reumerman Richard, Kerr Leena, Tucker Nicholas P, Hunter Iain S, Herron Paul R, Hoskisson Paul A
Access Microbiology (2020)
Streptomyces altiplanensis sp. nov., an alkalitolerant species isolated from Chilean Altiplano soil, and emended description of streptomyces chryseus (Krasil'nikov et al. 1965) Pridham 1970
Cortés-Albayay Carlos, Dorador Cristina, Schumann Peter, Schniete Jana K, Herron Paul, Andrews Barbara, Asenjo Juan, Nouioui Imen
International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology Vol 69, pp. 2498-2505 (2019)
Rapid colorimetric lactoferrin-based sandwich immunoassay on cotton swabs for the detection of foodborne pathogenic bacteria
Alamer Saleh, Eissa Shimaa, Chinnappan Raja, Herron Paul, Zourob Mohammed
Talanta Vol 185, pp. 275-280 (2018)
Draft genome sequence of Streptomyces phaeoluteigriseus DSM41896
Schniete Jana K, Salih Talal S, Algora-Gallardo Lis, Santos Tiago, Filgueira-Martinez Sara, Herron Paul R
Genome Announcements Vol 5 (2017)
Unique function of the bacterial chromosome segregation machinery in apically growing streptomyces - targeting the chromosome to new hyphal tubes and its anchorage at the tips
Kois-Ostrowska Agnieszka, Strzałka Agnieszka, Lipietta Natalia, Tilley Emma, Zakrzewska-Czerwińska Jolanta, Herron Paul, Jakimowicz Dagmara
PLOS Genetics Vol 12 (2016)

More publications


My teaching duties include Fundamental Microbiology, Intermediate Microbiology, Laboratory Methods and Skills Development, Honours Microbiology 1 and 2.

Research interests

His research interests include the following:

  • Chromosome segregation in Streptomyces. cell division in streptomycetes is fundamentally different from other bacteria as it is inessential for growth. Despite progress on elucidating the regulatory mechanisms governing the onset of differentiation in streptomycetes, little is known about the mechanism of chromosome segregation. We are using molecular and microscopic tools to investigate this in Streptomyces. Using time lapse microscopy we have visualised trafficking of key cell division proteins and DNA replisomesduring growth and development.The role of Phospholipids in streptomycete development. The involvement of phospholipids in bacterial cell division has recently received increasing attention. Although different phospholipids are abundant in the membranes of Streptomyces, their involvement in development is not known. We are investigating changes in phospholipid profile and gene expression during differentiation.
  • Oxytetracycline productivity in Streptomyces rimosus. In the commercial production of antibiotics, extensive strain improvement programs have been carried out, where the original isolate of an antibiotic-producing organism has been improved sequentially to deliver a titre of product that is commercially-viable. This "black box" methodology was carried out for Streptomyces rimosus, which makes the antibiotic oxytetracycline. To identify the basis of strain improvement we have sequenced the genomes of four S. rimosus strains and are attempting to understand the genetic changes and biochemical bottlenecks by which carbon flux is directed away from primary metabolism towards natural product biosynthesis.
  • Exploitaion of Bacteriophages. In collaboration Fixed Phage Ltd. we are exploiting bacterial viruses for the treatment of plant and animal diseases

Professional activities

PhD Examiner
External Examiner
Microbiology (Journal)
Peer reviewer
Metabolomics (Journal)
Peer reviewer
Gene (Journal)
Peer reviewer
Open Biology (Journal)
Peer reviewer
Nature Communications (Journal)
Peer reviewer

More professional activities


Development of stable platform strains for improved clavulanic acid production
Herron, Paul (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 30-Jan-2023
Research Excellence Award - Applying machine learning to 'omics data for accelerated marine antibiotic discovery - Darren Scobie
Duncan, Katherine (Principal Investigator) Herron, Paul (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 30-Jan-2022
Development of novel bacterial strains for production of hydrophobic compounds (CBMNet PoC)
Herron, Paul (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 20-Jan-2019
Development of Stable Streptomyces clavuligeris strains for improved clavalunic acid production
Herron, Paul (Principal Investigator) Hoskisson, Paul (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2016 - 31-Jan-2020
A universal tool for rapid functional characterisation of antibiotic production genes in bacterial genus,Streptomyces
Herron, Paul (Principal Investigator)
During this project we will develop a genetic tool that will accelerate and simplify the discovery of new antibiotics produced by the bacterial genus Streptomyces. Ever since the golden age of antibiotics in the mid-20th century, streptomycetes have provided the richest source of novel antimicrobial compounds. These natural products include clinically-important antibiotics (tetracyclines, streptomycins, & penicillins), immunosuppressants (FK506/520 & rapamycin) and anti-cancer drugs (doxorubicin). Perhaps the major medical challenge in the 21st century is to develop new antibiotics to combat bacterial antibiotic resistance. Genome sequencing of streptomycetes, coupled with mining for antibiotic biosynthetic genes has revealed great undiscovered biosynthetic potential in this genus and highlights their enormous possibilities for antibiotic development. However, there is a need to develop new genetic tools that will allow the rapid characterization of antibiotic biosynthetic gene function and facilitate exploitation of this biochemical potential. Currently, gene disruption in streptomycetes is a laborious process. We need to speed this process to more rapidly characterise antibiotic biosynthetic genes and so simplify the antibiotic development pipeline. Rapid mutagenesis of biosynthetic genes will allow manipulation of pathways to develop new compounds through genetic engineering. Alternatively gene manipulation of a producing-strain can be used to improve yield and thus commercial viability of desired antibiotics. Taking advantage of gene synthesis technology, we will develop a genetic tool that is universally applicable to all sequenced streptomycetes as well as some related bacteria. This tool will remove the need for laborious gene manipulations that is necessary to characterise antibiotic biosynthesis at the present time. In the first instance, we will synthesise mutagenesis cassettes targeted at the disruption of a number of characterised antibiotic biosynthetic gene clusters. We will demonstrate proof-of-principle of this system in both a model streptomycete, Streptomyces coelicolor, and an industrial strain, the oxytetracycline producer Streptomyces rimosus through the disruption and deletion of known antibiotic biosynthetic genes. Application of our tool to the latter organism will demonstrate the utility of our system in non-model, industrial organisms. We will assess the efficiency with which gene disruption takes place and identify the location and stability of the gene disruption using a range of molecular biological techniques. Finally, we will make the genetic tools developed during this project available to the academic and industrial scientific communities through a biological resource repository following dissemination of results in open access journals so as to achieve the greatest possible uptake of our system for the development of novel antibiotics.
01-Jan-2015 - 16-Jan-2018
Treatment of Bacterial Disease of Plants by Bacteriophage coated Nanoparticles (Partner Contribution)
Herron, Paul (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2013 - 31-Jan-2016

More projects


Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences
Hamnett Wing

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