New paper detailing hydrocarbon and nutrient cycling in deep sea hydrothermal sediments

New insights into microbial hydrocarbon cycling and metabolic interdependencies in hydrothermal sediments

Congrats Nina and Kiley!

This paper details the genetic diversity of these sediments and describes genomes belonging to a uncultured archaeal group (GoM-Arc1) that contain novel pathways for hydrocarbon cycling, related to ANME (anaerobic methane oxidizers).


Introducing a new class in the archaea, Theionarchaea, and several other uncultured lineages

In addition to Theionarchaea, this new paper that appears in ISME Journal also details a variety of archaeal genomes there were obtained from the White Oak River Estuary in North Carolina.  This digram summarizes the ecological roles we have inferred from these genomes. This is important because NONE of these lineages have been grown in a laboratory, so having their genomes has significantly advanced our understanding of what they do in nature.

Genomic reconstruction of multiple lineages of uncultured benthic archaea suggests distinct biogeochemical roles and ecological niches



Introducing Asgard! A new superphylum of archaea that are related to eukaryotes.

Asgard archaea illuminate the origin of eukaryotic cellular complexity


screen-shot-2017-01-11-at-9-08-08-amThis week our new paper describing the discovery of 4 archaea phyla that are related to eukaryotes was published in Nature. These phyla are belong to the same branch of life and have been named after different Norse gods, Thor, Odin, Heimdall, and Loki.  This is a collaboration with Thijs Ettema’s lab in Sweden. Last year we published the discovery of Thorarchaeota in ISME.

Genomic reconstruction of a novel, deeply branched sediment archaeal phylum with pathways for acetogenesis and sulfur reduction

This paper adds 2 additional phyla, Odinarchaeota and Heimdallarchaeota. The focus of this paper is further resolve the phylogenetic position of eukaryotes in this new superphylum.  It also examines the presence of several new ESPs or eukaryotic signature proteins.  These proteins were mostly thought to exist in eukaryotes, but these genomes contain a variety of them!screen-shot-2017-01-11-at-9-07-09-am

Press releases to accompany this study:

UT press release

The Atlantic article by Ed Yong

Uppsala press release

New paper characterizing the metabolic pathways of bacteria involved in oil degradation in the DWH oil spill

Through a collaboration with the Teske Lab (UNC) and Tony Gutierrez my 2015 REU student and postdoc (Nina Dombrowski) reconstructed several genomes from DNA-SIP experiments run on DWH spill oil in 2010.

Hydrocarbon degradation pathways in uncultured bacteria from the Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill

UT press release

Christian Science Monitor

The genomic hunt for oil-degrading bacteria after the Deepwater Horizon blowout: More than the usual suspects

This cover of The National from Scotland.13177959_10154110138150797_26354218422638703_n

The new Tree of Life!

A new view of the the tree of life

The rapid sequencing of new microbial genomes in recent years has left us wondering what has all this new data done to the tree of life.  To address this, a new paper that presents the new view of life diversity in the genomic era has just been published in Nature Microbiology.

This paper is a collaboration with many people namely Laura Hug and Jill Banfield (at UC Berkeley).Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 4.33.36 PM

UC Berkeley press release

UT press release

Branching out

Carl Zimmer’s New York Times coverage

Daily News