We are interested in regulatory, mechanistic and evolutionary aspects of the main cell cycle processes in organisms from the third domain of life, Archaea. Our main model species are extremophilic microorganisms that belong to the archaeal genus Sulfolobus. The organisms are hyperthermophiles that grow optimally in hot acid (80ºC and pH 3) and are found in geothermal hot spring areas all over Earth.

We explore the chromosome replication, genome segregation and cell division mechanisms, as well as the cytoskeleton, using a variety of strategies. The aims are to increase the understanding of the fundamental cell biology of archaea, and to gain insights into core aspects of the corresponding features of eukaryotic cells due to the extensive similarities between archaea and eukaryotes.

Rolf Bernander


Archaea, Chromosome replication, Cell division, Cell cycle, Cytoskeleton


Selected publications

Braun T, Orlava A, Valegård K, Lindås AC, Schröder GF, Egelman EH. Archaeal actin from a hyperthermophile forms a single-stranded filament. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Jun 29. pii: 201509069.

Lindås, AC. Chruszcz, M. Bernander, R. Valegård, K. Structure of crenactin, an archaeal actin homologue active at 90°C. Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr. 2014 Feb;70(Pt 2):492-500.

Lindås, A.-C., & Bernander, R. (2013). The cell cycle of archaea. Nat. Rev. Microbiol. 11:627-38

Ettema, T.J.G., Lindås, A.-C., & Bernander, R. (2011). An actin-based cytoskeleton in archaea. Mol. Microbiol. 80: 1052-61

Lindås, A.-C., Karlsson, E., Lindgren, M.F., Ettema, T.J.G., & Bernander, R. (2008). A unique cell division machinery in the archaea. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 105:18942-46

Lundgren, M., & Bernander, R. (2007). Genome-wide transcription map of an archaeal cell cycle. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 104: 2939-44


See all publications (Link to Researcher ID)


Rolf Bernander

With great sorrow we must inform that Professor Rolf Bernander has passed away. The sad news was received late on Tuesday, January 21, 2014. His passing was unexpected and has left all with a great sense of loss.  Rolf made important contributions to the understanding of the biology of archaea and the origins of life on Earth. One can only speculate on the future discoveries he would have made - his death came much too early. His colleagues at the Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute remember Rolf for his enthusiasm for our new department, his intense interest in science, his great knowledge of biology, analytical mind and quirky sense of humor. In short, Rolf was an exceptional colleague and will be deeply missed.