WFU Department of Physics Wake Forest University


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WFU Physics Colloquium

TITLE: Unraveling the Transcription Machinery of Shewanella oneidensis MR-1

SPEAKER: Dr. Natalie Gassman,

Department of Physics,
Wake Forest University

TIME: Thursday Oct. 2, 2008 at 4:00 PM

PLACE: Room 101 in Olin Physical Laboratory

Refreshments will be served at 3:30 PM in the Olin Lounge. All interested persons are cordially invited to attend.


Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 is a motile metal reducing bacterium capable of utilizing a range of organic and inorganic compounds for metabolism. The coupling of the reduction of insoluble metal oxides to the oxidation of organic carbon is a fundamental biogeochemical process in soils, sediments, and groundwaters. More importantly, microbial metal reduction has been identified as an effective means for immobilizing heavy metals and radionuclides, including Cr, U, Tc, and Pu, preventing their migration into the environment. Microbes capable of metal reduction, especially those with respiratory versatility, have important implications as bioremediation candidate organisms and are potentially vital to microbial fuel cell research. Harnessing the new bioremediation and biotechnology applications offered by Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 requires a clear understanding of its transcription machinery, a pivotal component in how this organism functions in, and senses and responds to its environment.

The transcription machinery from this organism has been purified and the underlying mechanisms of transcription initiation, identified through single molecule fluorescence spectroscopy, will be detailed. Additionally, a new single molecule strategy, combining fluorescence and atomic force microscopy to identify the promoter DNA site from which this machinery acts, will be described.

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100 Olin Physical Laboratory
Wake Forest University
Winston-Salem, NC 27109-7507
Phone: (336) 758-5337, FAX: (336) 758-6142