Microbial Flow Sort Lab
Current and Potential Research Applications
- Identification and sorting of subpopulations of phytoplankton which have activated programmed cell death pathways in response to viral infection and nutrient depletion; characterizing in situ marine ectohydrolase activities for specific microbial subpopulations.
- Use of fluorescent-based probes to sort microbial populations encased in ancient Antarctic ice over geologic time scales.
- Assesing the physiological ecology of phytoplankton subpopulations.
- Assessment of the photosynthetic niche specialization among subpopulations of phytoplankton and coral cell cultures.
- Determination of trace metal quotas for specific subpopulations of phytoplankton.
- Assessing the genetic diversity and population dynamics of marine microbes.
- Detection and sorting of phosphorus-limited cells from natural populations in the Sargasso Sea and Bermuda Atlantic Time Series.
- Isolation and characerization of subpopulations of the parasite Perkinsus marinus, which selectively infects oysters and razor clams.
- Use of chromosomal sorting to assess the effect of polyploidy to disease resistance in the eastern oyster, Crossosstria virginica.
- Use in biodegradation studies to determine which community members able to utilize and detoxify selected hazardous substrates.
- Targetted separation of abiotic vs. biotic marine particles for assessment of differing chemical bind loads.
- Interrogation of microbial populations that differ with respect to their ability to associate with and degrade non-aqueous phase liquids (NAPLs)
- Use in bioremediation of sediments and groundwater and anaerobic digestion of sludges and waste biomass; quantifying specific bacterial or archael groups and the expressionof specific functional genes associated with in situ rates of dechlorination of dioxins and PCBs.
- Quantitaion and isolation of microorganisms comprising the atmospheric biosphere; assessing microbial genetic mutation by cosmic radiation in the atmosphere.
- Examining the population dynamics and phenotypic plasticity of protist species in response to environmental variation; assessing species diversity and community composition.
Environmental and Agricultural Biotechnology
- Identification and separation of specific bacterial symbionts of marine sponges for elucidation of natural product synthesis.
- Targetted quantitation and isolation of specific microbial subpopulations of bacteria and archaea from hydrothermal vents.
- Assessing horizontal gene transfer of metal resistance genes and its role in the fitness of microbial communities in metal contaminated environments.
- Examination of fungal isolates to elucidate differences in Turfgrass disease; investigating the function of viral genes in disease of cranberries and blueberries.
- Investigation of 'biological control' microorganisms that are antagonistic to plant pathogens as effective disease control; assessment of gene expression and regulation for extracellular degradative enzymes and antibiotic production.