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Proteome and Bioenergetic Analysis of Growth States in a Syntrophic Quad-Culture

Hans Scholten, Principal Investigator

Lifestyles in Quad culture
Figure 1. Lifestyles in Quad culture
Microbial Interactions
Figure 2. Microbial Interactions

The Proteome and Bioenergetic Analysis of Growth States in a Syntrophic Quad-Culture project team at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is developing a method to predict biochemical behavior in a simple, four-microorganism community. This method is based on analyses of transcriptome and macroscopic process data describing carbon and energy flow in the microorganism community. To this end, researchers are analyzing the transcriptomics of six, selected, mixed (mono-, dual-, and quad-) cultures run in chemostats. The data will be used to identify how the system’s metabolic and regulatory networks are altered as the functional relationships in the system change in response to the removal of organisms and changes in electron donor and acceptor conditions.

Through this study, we will characterize phenotypic traits important, for example, to the sulfate-reducing and/or syntrophic lifestyles (Figure 1) of Desulfovibrio vulgaris and Syntrophobacter fumaroxidans. The system we are using allows us to study different microbial interactions in a four-microorganism or less complex community (Figure 2). As part of this project, researchers are also performing experiments to validate and improve the genome-scale metabolic model of the methanogenic archaeon Methanosarcina barkeri.

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