Yumi Suh Rose Hills
Identifying Genetic and Metabolic Interactions Between Bacteria
Bacterial communities have been shown to impact everything from geochemical cycles to human health and disease; however, the mechanisms by which natural microbial consortia partition resources and stably maintain cooperative loops of metabolite transfer are very poorly understood. These are incredibly powerful concepts; for example, synthetic communities could represent effective compartments for bioremediation or complex biochemical synthesis. Thus, we propose an exploratory study aimed at developing a genetic interaction map between pairs of model bacteria. Specifically, we will study Shewanella oneidensis MR-1, Zymomonas mobilis ZM4, Desulfovibrio alaskensis G20, and Escherichia coli, among others of interest to environmental remediation or metabolic engineering applications.We are in the process of developing a complete genomic knockout set of our target strains. The functions of many genes are not currently clear, but by pairwise co-culturing our targets, and clarifying growth conditions for viable microbial consortia, we aim to correlate growth phenotypes observed under different environmental conditions to the presence or absence of genes of interest.