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Gene expression patterns of the ammonia oxidizing archaeon Nitrosophaera viennensis under changing growth conditions


Supervisor: Christa Schleper

PhD student: Logan Hodgskiss

Group: Archaea Ecology and Evolution, Division of Archaea Biology and Ecogenomics, Department of Ecogenomics and Systems Biology







Exploring the Physiology of an Ammonia Oxidizing Archaeon, Nitrososphaera viennensis

In the past decade, ammonia oxidizing archaea (AOA) have proven to be ubiquitous in soil environments.  AOA are members of the Thaumarchaeota phylum and rely on ammonia oxidation as an energy source while growing autotrophically. Because of this, the core physiology of AOA contributes to both the global nitrogen and carbon cycles.  However, little is known about the function and regulation of their primary metabolic processes.  The recent isolation and genome annotation of an AOA from soil, Nitrososphaera viennensis, has set the stage to explore these questions.  In this context, omics techniques (transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics) are being utilized to invesigate the metabolic responses of N. viennensis to various environmental stresses including copper limitation, carbon limitation, and exposure to reactive oxygen species.  Additionally, a combination of protein gels and proteomics is being used to investigate the ammonia monooxygenase found in N. viennensis. This complex is responsible for the first step of ammonia oxidation.  However, it's exact structure and composition is currently unknown. Experimental setups have been guided by information obtained from the genome as well as the development of a thermodynamic model based on the primary metabolism of N. viennensis.  The results of these experiments will help elucidate how N. viennensis can respond to varied nutrient concentrations and physical limitations found in its natural habitat and give insights into the role this microorganism plays in the environment.

Co-Supervision: Wolfgang Weckwerth, Gerhard Herndl, Secondment: Prof. Dr. Thomas Nägele, Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich.


Please find a list of publications here.

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