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Articles by Lisa Alvarez-Cohen
Total Records ( 3 ) for Lisa Alvarez-Cohen
  Patrick K. H. Lee , Tamzen W. Macbeth , Kent S. Sorenson , Rula A. Deeb and Lisa Alvarez-Cohen
  Quantitative PCR (qPCR) was coupled with reverse transcription (RT) to analyze both gene copy numbers and transcripts of the 16S rRNA gene and three reductive dehalogenase (RDase) genes (tceA, vcrA, and bvcA) as biomarkers of "Dehalococcoides" spp. in the groundwater of a trichloroethene-dense nonaqueous-phase liquid site at Fort Lewis, WA, that was sequentially subjected to biostimulation and bioaugmentation. Dehalococcoides cells carrying the tceA, vcrA, and bvcA genes were indigenous to the site. The sum of the three identified RDase gene copy numbers closely correlated to 16S rRNA gene copy numbers throughout the biostimulation and bioaugmentation activity, suggesting that these RDase genes represented the major Dehalococcoides metabolic functions at this site. Biomarker quantification revealed an overall increase of more than 3 orders of magnitude in the total Dehalococcoides population through the 1-year monitoring period (spanning biostimulation and bioaugmentation), and measurement of the respective RDase gene concentrations indicated different growth dynamics among Dehalococcoides cells. The Dehalococcoides cells containing the tceA gene consistently lagged behind other Dehalococcoides cells in population numbers and made up less than 5% of the total Dehalococcoides population, whereas the vcrA- and bvcA-containing cells represented the dominant fractions. Quantification of transcripts in groundwater samples verified that the 16S rRNA gene and the bvcA and vcrA genes were consistently highly expressed in all samples examined, while the tceA transcripts were detected inconsistently, suggesting a less active physiological state of the cells with this gene. The production of vinyl chloride and ethene toward the end of treatment supported the physiological activity of the bvcA- and vcrA-carrying cells. A clone library of the expressed RDase genes in field samples produced with degenerate primers revealed the expression of two putative RDase genes that were not previously monitored with RT-qPCR. The level of abundance of one of the putative RDase genes (FtL-RDase-1638) identified in the cDNA clone library tracked closely in field samples with abundance of the bvcA gene, suggesting that the FtL-RDase-1638 gene was likely colocated in genomes containing the bvcA gene. Overall, results from this study demonstrate that quantification of biomarker dynamics at field sites can provide useful information about the in situ physiology of Dehalococcoides strains and their associated activity.
  David R. Johnson , Eoin L. Brodie , Alan E. Hubbard , Gary L. Andersen , Stephen H. Zinder and Lisa Alvarez-Cohen
  "Dehalococcoides" bacteria can reductively dehalogenate a wide range of halogenated organic pollutants. In this study, DNA microarrays were used to monitor dynamic changes in the transcriptome as "Dehalococcoides ethenogenes" strain 195 transitioned from exponential growth into stationary phase. In total, 415 nonredundant genes were identified as differentially expressed. As expected, genes involved with translation and energy metabolism were down-regulated while genes involved with general stress response, transcription, and signal transduction were up-regulated. Unexpected, however, was the 8- to 10-fold up-regulation of four putative reductive dehalogenases (RDases) (DET0173, DET0180, DET1535, and DET1545). Another unexpected finding was the up-regulation of a large number of genes located within integrated elements, including a putative prophage and a multicopy transposon. Finally, genes encoding the dominant hydrogenase-RDase respiratory chain of this strain (Hup and TceA) were expressed at stable levels throughout the experiment, providing molecular evidence that strain 195 can uncouple dechlorination from net growth.
  Kimberlee A. West , David R. Johnson , Ping Hu , Todd Z. DeSantis , Eoin L. Brodie , Patrick K. H. Lee , Helene Feil , Gary L. Andersen , Stephen H. Zinder and Lisa Alvarez-Cohen
  Tetrachloroethene (PCE) and trichloroethene (TCE) are prevalent groundwater contaminants that can be completely reductively dehalogenated by some "Dehalococcoides" organisms. A Dehalococcoides-organism-containing microbial consortium (referred to as ANAS) with the ability to degrade TCE to ethene, an innocuous end product, was previously enriched from contaminated soil. A whole-genome photolithographic microarray was developed based on the genome of "Dehalococcoides ethenogenes" 195. This microarray contains probes designed to hybridize to >99% of the predicted protein-coding sequences in the strain 195 genome. DNA from ANAS was hybridized to the microarray to characterize the genomic content of the ANAS enrichment. The microarray results revealed that the genes associated with central metabolism, including an apparently incomplete carbon fixation pathway, cobalamin-salvaging system, nitrogen fixation pathway, and five hydrogenase complexes, are present in both strain 195 and ANAS. Although the gene encoding the TCE reductase, tceA, was detected, 13 of the 19 reductive dehalogenase genes present in strain 195 were not detected in ANAS. Additionally, 88% of the genes in predicted integrated genetic elements in strain 195 were not detected in ANAS, consistent with these elements being genetically mobile. Sections of the tryptophan operon and an operon encoding an ABC transporter in strain 195 were also not detected in ANAS. These insights into the diversity of Dehalococcoides genomes will improve our understanding of the physiology and evolution of these bacteria, which is essential in developing effective strategies for the bioremediation of PCE and TCE in the environment.
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