Lyman L. Handy Colloquium Series
Electromicrobiology: New Frontiers in Multidisciplinary Research
Professor Yuri Alan Gorby
University of Southern California
Marine Enviromental Biology
The recent discovery that diverse groups of bacteria produce electrically-conductive protein filaments called bacterial nanowires is fundamentally changing our understanding of microbial physiology and ecology and provides research opportunities with profound and diverse implications. Research conducted by our multidisciplinary research team has demonstrated that organisms ranging from oxygenic, photosynthetic cyanobacteria to thermophilic, methanogenic cocultures produce nanowires in response to electron acceptor limitation. These structures have been implicated in extracellular charge transfer reactions in axenic or mixed microbial biofilms, including those growing on electrode surfaces in electrogenic devices called microbial fuel cells, those that reduce and transform dissolved forms of heavy metals and radionuclides, and opportunistic pathogens associated with conditions such as osteonecrosis of the jaw and cystic fibrosis. This presentation will provide an update on (1) the successful application of advanced microscopic and spectroscopic techniques for evaluating the composition and electronic properties of bacterial nanowires, (2) approaches for characterizing the role(s) of bacterial nanowires in diverse microbial ecosystems, and (3) methods for enhancing or disrupting the integrity of bacterial nanowires for improving power output in microbial fuel cells or as novel treatment strategies for problematic biofilms associated with microbially influenced corrosion and variety of pathogenic conditions.
Time and Location
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Seminar at 12:45 p.m.
ZHS Room 159
The scientific community is cordially invited.