Systems Genetics

Systems Genetics

Research in the Systems Genetics group is supported by large U.S. Department of Energy Biological and Environmental Research (BER) programs including the Bioenergy Science Center, the Plant-Microbe Interface SFA, CSiTE, as well as by individual investigator-driven projects from DOE and other federal agencies (NIH, NASA, NSF). Subject areas include biofuels and microbial engineering; the roles of microbes in plant development, in regional and global elemental cycles related to bioremediation and climate changes; the human microbiome and its role in health and disease; integrating genomic and microbiological approaches to study novel lineages of Archaea and Bacteria.

Systems Genetics


Methanogenic Archaea dominate mature heartwood habitats of Eastern Cottonwood (Populus deltoides)

While recent reports demonstrate that the direct emission of methane from living tree trunks may be a significant terrestrial emission source, there has been debate whether tree emissions are due to...

Insights into the Evolution of Host Association through the Isolation and Characterization of a Novel Human Periodontal Pathobiont, Desulfobulbus oralis

The human oral microbiota encompasses representatives of many bacterial lineages that have not yet been cultured. Here we describe the isolation and characterization of previously uncultured...

Reproductive Microbiomes: Using the Microbiome as a Novel Diagnostic Tool for Endometriosis

Background: Endometriosis is a chronic inflammatory disease which results in significant pain and long term reproductive consequences for up to 50% of infertile women. This study was focused to...

Capabilities & Research Areas

As part of these research areas, we study organisms (archaea, bacteria, fungi) from a wide range of environments, including terrestrial geothermal and marine hydrothermal systems, soils and plant rhizospheres, subsurface aquifers and forests and bogs. A wide range of approaches are being used, from traditional cultivation and physiology studies to community diversity characterization, metagenomics and single-cell genomics, integrated “omics” (transcriptomics-proteomics-metabolomics), and advanced cellular isolation and imaging.