New research published – stressed Desulfovibrio….

Some research has just been published from the Wilkins lab that looked at the metabolic and physiological response to elevated CO2 pressures. Such environments might be encountered in the deep subsurface where CO2 sequestration has been suggested as a technique for ‘locking up’ CO2 emissions, rather than releasing the gas to the atmosphere. We used a range of techniques in this study, including high-pressure batch culturing, novel high-pressure NMR, electron microscopy, and RNA-Seq to track how Desulfovibrio vulgaris responds to combined pressure and CO2. The results? Well, the bug doesn’t like that stress at all. Metabolism was generally inhibited even at low CO2 pressures, although high N2 pressures had no inhibitory effects. These results indicate that deep subsurface CO2 sequestration would have the potential to greatly inhibit the activity of some key microbial groups in the deep biosphere. Publication link below:

CO2 exposure at pressure impacts metabolism and stress responses in the model sulfate-reducing bacterium Desulfovibrio vulgaris strain Hildenborough

Wilkins MJ, Hoyt DW, Marshall MJ, Alderson PA, Plymale AE, Markillie LM, Tucker AE, Walter ED, Linggi BE, Dohnalkova AC and Taylor RC (2014) Front. Microbiol. 5:507. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2014.00507

Mackenzie presents her data at the Undergraduate Research Forum


Undergraduate researcher Mackenzie Lynes presented her work on isolating sulfate-reducing bacteria from prairie pothole lakes today at the Undergraduate Research Forum. Mackenzie started working in the lab at the start of the summer break, and has already accumulated an impressive number of anaerobic enrichment bottles and tubes….

Deep terrestrial sampling perspective published

Back in February, Kelly Wrighton, Paula Mouser, Dave Cole, and myself organized a workshop to discuss trends and future challenges in sampling the deep biosphere, in support of an NSF grant to investigate the biosphere of deep shale materials. The workshop was a success, and recently the publication arising from this effort came online. Check it out here:

Trends and future challenges in sampling the deep terrestrial biosphere | Frontiers