Intellectual merit. The focus of this project on energy metabolism and quorum sensing in Caminibacter mediatlanticus is particularly important as this dominant deep-sea vent bacterium occupies the bottom of the chemosynthesis-based food chain. This study is the first to collect physiologically relevant data about primary producers at these sites, which will provide major insights on microbial gene regulation and expression in response to changing conditions in the environment. Building on information gained from the genome sequence of this organism, this project will combine physiological experiments, carried out using batch, continuous cultures, and in-situ incubations, with the quantification of the expression of specific genes (by qRT-PCR). The significance of the proposed study rests in the fact that gene expression in C. mediatlanticus will be investigated under growth conditions that reflect, in terms of concentrations of nutrients, those actually encountered by this organism in its natural environment. Such genome-enabled studies are critical to acquire fundamental information on gene expression in organisms that are ecologically relevant in their natural habitat, and to bridge the gap between laboratory-based investigations of pure cultures and environmental studies of natural microbial communities. The biotechnological uses of these organisms are likely to have significant impact across many fields. Broader impact. This project will offer training opportunities to one graduate student. Several undergraduate students as well as high school students are also involved in the project. A collaboration with the Mid-Atlantic Center for Ocean Science Education Excellence (COSEE) will help to translate the research for K-12 and public audiences. Furthermore, the Deep-Sea Microbiology Lab website, featured by the National Science Digital Library Scout Report for the Life Sciences, will ensure the rapid and wide dissemination of the results from this research.
|Effective start/end date||3/15/09 → 2/29/12|
- National Science Foundation (National Science Foundation (NSF))