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

The genomes of SAGMEG, a widespread deep subsurface archaea, decoded!

Our new paper published in Nature Microbiology, which was a collaboration with the Ettema Lab (Upsalla Univ), and Teske Lab (UNC Chapel Hill), begins to resolve the metabolic capabilities of a group (class) of Archaea (referred to as SAGMEG) that are predominant in the subsurface and have not cultured.Yellowstone 2 credit Dan Coleman Montana State UniversityTwo of the genomes were recovered from this hot spring in Yellowstone National Park (photo by Dan Coleman).

Genomic inference of the metabolism of cosmopolitan subsurface Archaea, Hadesarchaea







Press releases about this article.

New paper published in Microbiome, detailing 82 bacteria genomes involved estuary sediment biogeochemical cycling

Genomic resolution of linkages in carbon, nitrogen,and sulfur cycling among widespread estuary sediment bacteria

Brett J Baker, Cassandre Sara Lazar, Andreas P Teske, and Gregory J Dick

Background: Estuaries are among the most productive habitats on the planet. Bacteria in estuary sediments control the turnover of organic carbon and the cycling of nitrogen and sulfur. These communities are complex and primarily made up of uncultured lineages, thus little is known about how ecological and metabolic processes are partitioned in sediments.

Results: De novo assembly and binning resulted in the reconstruction of 82 bacterial genomes from different redox regimes of estuary sediments. These genomes belong to 23 bacterial groups, including uncultured candidate phyla (for example, KSB1, TA06, and KD3-62) and three newly described phyla (White Oak River (WOR)-1, WOR-2, and WOR-3). The uncultured phyla are generally most abundant in the sulfate-methane transition (SMTZ) and methane-rich zones, and genomic data predicts that they mediate essential biogeochemical processes of the estuarine environment, including organic carbon degradation and fermentation. Among the most abundant organisms in the sulfate-rich layer are novel Gammaproteobacteria that have genes for the oxidation of sulfur and the reduction of nitrate and nitrite. Interestingly, the terminal steps of denitrification (NO3 to N2O and then N2O to N2) are present in distinct bacterial populations.

Conclusions: This dataset extends our knowledge of the metabolic potential of several uncultured phyla. Within the sediments, there is redundancy in the genomic potential in different lineages, often distinct phyla, for essential biogeochemical processes. We were able to chart the flow of carbon and nutrients through the multiple geochemical layers of bacterial processing and reveal potential ecological interactions within the communities.

Figure1 – showing the phylogeny of bacteria based on multiple genes from the genomes