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Uncovering the metabolic flexibility of aerobic bacteria: from enzymes to ecosystems Event as iCalendar

26 August 2019

1 - 2pm

Venue: Mac 1 Biology Building

Location: 5 Symonds St

Host: SBS

Contact info: Dr Ghader Bashiri

Contact email: g.bashiri@auckland.ac.nz

Dr Chris Greening
Dr Chris Greening

Speaker: Dr Chris Greening, Integrative Microbiology Research Group, School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Victoria, Australia


Bacteria have an extraordinary capacity to persist in response to resource limitation. To achieve this, cells enter a dormant state in which they expend energy for maintenance rather than growth. Dr Chris Greening’s research programme has shown that the survival of environmental and pathogenic bacteria depends on previously unrecognised metabolic flexibility, including novel respiration, fermentation, and biodegradation pathways. 

In this seminar, Dr Greening will discuss two of these findings. The first half of the seminar will focus on the surprising finding that aerobic bacteria are capable of ‘living on air’, that is, scavenging atmospheric hydrogen and carbon monoxide as alternative energy sources. The second half will summarise work investigating how and why bacteria synthesise the unusual redox cofactor F420. In both cases, Dr Greening and colleagues integrated genetic, biochemical and physiological approaches to identify novel metabolic processes supporting the survival of the model bacterium Mycobacterium smegmatis. They then extended these findings to the ecosystem level using culture-based and culture-independent approaches. Dr Greening will also discuss the wider implications of these findings for understanding infectious disease, global change and microbial biodiversity. 

For more information please contact Dr Ghader Bashiri, g.bashiri@auckland.ac.nz