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Mike Peck

Research Leader

Contact Details:

Institute of Food Research,
Norwich Research Park,
Colney, Norwich,

Research interests

Basic/strategic aspects of the physiology and molecular biology of Clostridium botulinum (and other foodborne pathogens), and applying research findings (including developments in mathematical biology, such as risk assessment) to address issues faced by industry and regulators.

News articles

Global Food Security report highlights change needed to reduce food waste
19 Sep 2013
Food wasteThe Global Food Security Programme has published a report  identifying the main research priorities needed to address the problems of food waste. Tackling food waste is a vital part of ensuring food security in the future. ‘Food Waste within Global Systems’  identifies research priorities throughout the food supply chain, from production through to consumers. Part of the […] Read full story

Mining the botulinum genome
14 May 2013
A Clostridium botulinum sporeThe toxin that causes botulism is the most potent that we know of. Eating an amount of toxin just 1000th the weight of a grain of salt can be fatal, which is why so much effort has been put into keeping Clostridium botulinum, which produces the toxin, out of our food. The Institute of Food […] Read full story

Understanding how bacteria come back from the dead
02 Feb 2012
SalmonellaSalmonella remains a serious cause of food poisoning in the UK and throughout the EU, in part due to its ability to thrive and quickly adapt to the different environments in which it can grow. New research involving a team of IFR scientists, funded by BBSRC, has taken the first detailed look at what Salmonella […] Read full story

Microbiology to play crucial role in ensuring food security
02 Nov 2011
SGMProfessor Mike Peck of the Institute of Food Research has joined other experts from the Society for General Microbiology in launching a position statement on food security and safety. This sets out the key role that microbiology will play in ensuring that the 7 billion people in the world have access to safe and nutritious […] Read full story

Genome sequencing used to assess the threat to biosecurity from a novel form of Clostridium botulinum
07 Mar 2011
Scientists on the Norwich Research Park have sequenced the genome of a novel strain of Clostridium botulinum, one of the most dangerous pathogens known to man. The strain produces an unusual botulinum neurotoxin, known as type A5 neurotoxin, which was isolated by the Health Protection Agency (HPA), following a case of wound botulism. Professor Mike […] Read full story

Selected Publications

Carter A. T., Stringer S. C., Webb M. D., Peck M. W. (2013)
The type F6 neurotoxin gene cluster locus of Group II Clostridium botulinum has evolved by successive disruption of two different ancestral precursors
Genome Biology and Evolution 5 (5) 1032-1037
Stringer S. C., Carter A. T., Wachnicka E., Crossman L. C., Sebaihia M., Webb M. D., Peck M. W. (2013)
Genomic and physiological variability within Group II (non-proteolytic) Clostridium botulinum
BMC Genomics 14 333
Carter A. T., Pearson B. M., Crossman L. C., Drou N., Heavens D., Baker D., Febrer M., Caccamo M., Grant K. A., Peck M. W. (2011)
Complete genome sequence of proteolytic Clostridium botulinum type A5 (B3’) strain H04402 065
Journal of Bacteriology 193 (9) 2351-2352
Cooksley C. M., Davis I. J., Winzer K., Cockayne A., Chan W. C., Peck M. W., Minton N. P. (2010)
Regulation of neurotoxin production and sporulation by a putative agrBD signaling system in proteolytic Clostridium botulinum
Applied and Environmental Microbiology 76 (13) 4448-4460
Peck M. W., Plowman J., Aldus C. F., Wyatt G. M., Penaloza Izurieta W., Stringer S. C., Barker G. C. (2010)
Development and application of a new method for specific and sensitive enumeration of spores of nonproteolytic Clostridium botulinum types B, E and F in foods and food materials
Applied and Environmental Microbiology 76 (19) 6607-6614
Carter A. T., Paul C. J., Mason D. R., Twine S. M., Alston M., Logan S. E., Austin J. W., Peck M. W. (2009)
Independent evolution of neurotoxin and flagellar genetic loci in proteolytic Clostridium botulinum
BMC Genomics 10 115
Peck M. W. (2009)
Biology and genomic analysis of Clostridium botulinum
Advances in Microbial Physiology 55 183-265
Stringer S. C., Webb M. D., Peck M. W. (2009)
Contrasting effects of heat-treatment and incubation temperature on germination and outgrowth of individual spores of nonproteolytic clostridium botulinum
Applied and Environmental Microbiology 75 (9) 2712-2719
Grant K. A., Kenyon S., Nwafor I., Plowman J., Ohia C., Halford-Maw R., Peck M. W., McLauchlin J. (2008)
The identification and characterisation of Clostridium perfringens by real-time PCR, location of enterotoxin gene, and heat resistance
Foodborne Pathogens and Disease 5 (5) 629-639

Recent Publications

Peck M. W. (2014)
Bacteria: Clostridium botulinum
(Ed: Motarjemi Y.) Encyclopedia of Food Safety        
Academic Press
1 (91) 381-394
Lund B. M., Peck M. W. (2013)
Clostridium botulinum
(Ed: Labbe R. G., Garcia S.) Guide to Foodborne Pathogens
2nd Edition (6) 91-111
Malakar P. K., Plowman J., Aldus C. F., Xing Z., Zhao Y., Peck M. W. (2013)
Detection limit of Clostridium botulinum spores in dried mushroom samples sourced from China
International Journal of Food Microbiology 166 (1) 72-76
Lund B., Barker G., Peck M. (2012)
FSA response document
Rolfe M. D., Rice C. J., Lucchini S., Pin C., Thompson A., Cameron A., Alston M., Stringer M. F., Betts R. P., Baranyi J., Peck M. W., Hinton J. C. D. (2012)
Lag phase is a distinct growth phase that prepares bacteria for exponential growth and involves transient metal accumulation
Journal of Bacteriology 194 (3) 686-701
Webb M. D., Stringer S. C., Le Marc Y., Baranyi J., Peck M. W. (2012)
Does proximity to neighbours affect germination of spores of non-proteolytic Clostridium botulinum?
Food Microbiology 32 (1) 104-109

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