News & Events
Interactions between Pseudomonas and its environment
Speaker(s): Mr Sean Booth, Biofilm Research Group, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary
When: 24 November 2016 (3:00 - 4:00pm)
Where: SBS CR2 (Level 1)
Type: Seminars

Developing a fundamental understanding of how bacteria interact with anthropogenic pollutants should aid in the development of bioremediation strategies. Many Pseudomonas species are able to degrade various organic pollutants and also withstand the toxic effects of metals. As a surface attached biofilm, they have increased tolerance to such toxins. I used metabolomics analyses and found that altered metabolism contributed to their increased metal resistance. Tolerance to toxic metals has been found to vary widely based on the growth media. Using metabolomics I showed that metals can exacerbate the oxidative stress of pollutant metabolism, regardless of their specific mechanisms of toxicity. Pseudomonas are metabolically versatile, but also chemotactic to many carbon sources including organic pollutants. The energy-taxis receptor Aer, enables taxis towards any metabolizable carbon source. I performed bioinformatic analyses, which revealed that there are multiple homologs of this receptor and they are unevenly distributed in the genus. These studies highlight the diversity of interactions between Pseudomonas and its environment.
Speaker's Bio
Mr Sean C. Booth received his B.Sc. in Cellular, Molecular and Microbial Biology at University of Calgary. In 2011 he joined the microbial biochemistry group of Dr Raymond J. Turner and became a member of the Biofilm Research Group. He is currently completing his PhD in Environmental Microbiology with a focus on Pseudomonas metabolism and physiology. His future interests are in studying interspecies interactions and he also enjoys bringing science to the public through outreach activities.