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Berkeley Lab researchers create first of its kind gene map of sulfate-reducing bacterium
Date:11/9/2011

tors in D. vulgaris that include key processes of carbon, nitrogen and energy metabolism, cell motility and biofilm formation. They have also predicted responses to stresses such as nitrite, low potassium and phosphate starvation.

"For several response regulators we predicted and experimentally verified the binding site motifs, most of which were discovered as part of this study," Mukhopadhyay says. "In the future this gene map should help guide the development of bioremediation methods that do not exacerbate existing problems, and also help guide field practices that will enhance desirable outcomes."

The DAP-chip strategy used to create this regulatory gene map for D. vulgaris can also be used to create similar gene maps for any microbe whose genome has been sequenced. Given that the regulatory network of a microbe is often a reflection of the environments in which it thrives and the biogeochemical processes it can mediate, such gene maps should have an important role in future clean-ups of a wide range of contaminated environments.

"Our study is inherently foundational and the regulatory networks we discovered not only inform us about the bacterial response to heavy metals but also allows us to correlate microbial activity to other biofouling phenomena as well," says Mukhopadhyay.


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Contact: Lynn Yarris
lcyarris@lbl.gov
510-486-5375
DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert  

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