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Shewanella Federation

Shewanella oneidensis MR-1
Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 growing on the surface of the iron oxide mineral, hematite.

The Shewanella Federation is a cross-institution consortium consisting of teams of scientists from academia, national laboratories, and private industry working collaboratively to achieve a systems-level understanding of how Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 (S. oneidensis) senses and responds to its environment. Part of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Office of Biological and Environmental Research (OBER) Genomics:Genomes to Life Program, the Shewanella Federation is using genomics to address fundamental questions regarding energy metabolism, cell growth and regulation, as well as sensing of and response to environmental signals. An area of particular interest is electron transport and the role of the many different c-type cytochromes encoded in the genome for anaerobic respiration.

Members of the Shewanella Federation

Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 Is an Ideal Candidate for Bioremediation

S. oneidensis is a versatile bacterium that can use a variety of organic compounds and metals as electron acceptors for respiration. Many of the compounds and metals that S. oneidensis can use as electron acceptors, such as uranium, chromate, technetium, and nitrates, can be toxic to humans and other organisms and are contaminants of concern at a number of DOE sites. The microbial use of the compounds can significantly reduce their toxicity as well as limit the migration of these contaminants in the environment.

High-Throughput and Computational Technologies Are Used to Study Shewanella oneidensis MR-1

S. oneidensis is very amenable to laboratory studies, because it is easily grown in the laboratory and is amenable to genetic manipulation. Because S. oneidensis tolerates oxygen-rich and oxygen-deprived surroundings, researchers can perform genetic manipulation without specialized and cumbersome equipment to exclude oxygen. The complete genome sequence of S. oneidensis MR-1 is available, providing the genomic parts list necessary to perform high-throughput, systems-level biological research. There are an additional 17 strains of Shewanella whose genomes either have been sequenced or will be sequenced in the near future by DOE's Joint Genome Institute. The availability of genome sequences from multiple strains of Shewanella will greatly facilitate bioinformatic and functional analyses of their genomes.

Shewanella Federation researchers analyze data produced by global, high-throughput technologies to characterize the transcriptome and proteome of S. oneidensis and to understand better its cellular metabolism under a variety of controlled environmental conditions. Technologies being used include whole-genome DNA microarrays, Fourier-transform ion cyclotron mass spectroscopy, and controlled cultivation. Information gathered from these systems-level investigations will be used in conjunction with genome analysis and knowledge of metabolism to construct a metabolic model that predicts the growth and metabolism of S. oneidensis under different environmental conditions. An understanding of these responses to the environment will direct efforts to biologically remediate contaminated sites of diverse composition and to maximize electron flow to electrodes in microbial fuel cells.

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) team supports the Shewanella Federation by performing research in:

  • cell physiology and culturing
  • recombinant biotechnology and annotation
  • cell and protein imaging
  • cell image reconstruction and simulation
  • cell network modeling
  • proteomics
  • directed and random mutagenesis.

Much of the source material for this website was taken directly from Shewanella Federation and >Why Shewanella?. Please refer to these websites for more detailed information about DOE's Shewanella Federation.

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