The Bio & Tech Innovation (BTI) Series is a seminar series led by graduate students and postdocs to foster career development in industrial applications and academic research in biotechnology-related fields.
Flash Talks and Social Hour – Director’s Introduction (by Claudia Schmidt-Dannert) – Flash Talk session – Social Hour (food and drinks)
Pizza and refreshments will be served on a first-come, first-served basis.
Leveraging a large microbial strain collection for natural products studies
Scripps Florida houses one of the world’s largest actinobacterial strain collections, totaling >125,00 strains. These strains were isolated over the last eight decades and from 69 different countries, spanning at least 88 different genera. A natural products library (NPL) has also been constructed, consisting of 46,031 crude extracts, 28,739 partially purified fractions, and 650 pure NPs, which were made from 14,635 actinobacterial strains.
Current effort has been focused on sequencing the strain collection to establish the Natural Products Genomics Resource Center (NPGRC) for the broad scientific community.
Selected studies will be presented to highlight how to leverage the strain collection, the NPL, the NPGRC database, and the associated enabling technologies to transform the current paradigms of microbial natural product discovery and how to exploit this unique natural products resource to target emerging biology and accelerate drug discovery.
Corrinoids in Communities: Nutrient sharing in the microbial world
Microbial communities inhabit nearly all environments on earth. These communities are often composed of hundreds or more species that form networks of metabolic interactions.
Because metabolic interactions are complex and difficult to study at a molecular level, my research focuses on interactions involving one family of metabolites — corrinoid cofactors — as a model to understand metabolic interactions among bacteria. Corrinoids are the vitamin B12 family of cobalt-containing metabolites that function as enzyme cofactors in the majority of organisms. Corrinoids, like many other metabolites, are synthesized by only a fraction of bacteria that use them, but unlike other metabolites are a structurally diverse group of cofactors.
We have found that addition of particular corrinoids to communities derived from soil and from the human gut can alter the bacterial composition, leading to the exciting possibility that corrinoids may be used to manipulate microbiomes.