Meets Thursdays, 2:30-3:30 PM, Starr 209 (2nd floor classroom), unless otherwise stated.

MBL Micro-Eco Discussion Group, Spring 2011

Note! On Feb. 3, We will meet in Loeb G70 rather than Starr 209.


January 13 --Stefan Sievert

Canfield D.E. et al. (2010) A Cryptic Sulfur Cycle in Oxygen-Minimum–Zone Waters off the Chilean Coast.
www.sciencexpress.org / 11 November 2010 / Page 1 / 10.1126/science.1196889

Supplementary material is here


An extra paper cited during the discussion: Stolper D. A., Revsbech N.P., and Canfield D.E. (2010) Aerobic growth at nanomolar oxygen concentrations. PNAS 107(44): 18755–18760

and the amazing FEMS paper cited at end of discussion: Frank P. van den Ende, Jutta Meier, Hans van Gemerden (1997) Syntrophic growth of sulfate-reducing bacteria and colorless sulfur bacteria during oxygen limitation. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 23: 65-80


January 20 -- Nancy Akerman

Felisa Wolfe-Simon et al. (2010) A Bacterium That Can Grow by Using Arsenic Instead of Phosphorus.
Science Express, 2 December 2010, 10.1126/science.1197258

Download the paper here:
with supplementary information here:

and then if people are interested, there's a news interview here with the first author about the backlash to the paper here:

And also, a FAQ addendum to the science paper, located here:

Post-discussion today, Nancy also sent along two more refs for us:

the really harsh review letter that people were curious about (Silver & Phung)


the other paper (referenced during discussion) in case people are interested with a list of (old) references for Wolfe-Simon et al. (2009) Did nature also choose arsenic? International Journal of Astrobiology 8 (2) : 69–74


January 27 - Sheri Simmons and Zoe Cardon winging it!



February 3 (Loeb G70)-- Gretta Serres

Klitgord N, Segrè D. (2010) Environments that induce synthetic microbial ecosystems. PLoS Comput Biol. Nov 18;6(11):e1001002.

Gretta notes this paper "is relevant to our microbial ecology topics in that it describes ways to think about the metabolic interactions between co-occurring species.Through sequencing we are detecting the diversity of organisms in environments, but this gives us a little insight into why/how certain organisms are coexisting."


February 10 -- John Hobbie

Survival Strategy of Soil Heterotrophs - John is giving posters on this at the Arctic LTER meeting soon, and at the Keystone Symposium "Microbial Communities as Drivers of Ecosystem Complexity" in Breckenridge, CO end of March.

For Thursday, please read his Keystone Symposium abstract: Survival strategy of soil heterotrophs. John E. Hobbie and Erik A. Hobbie. Also, John will be projecting and talkin from this poster draft, so please take a look at it ahead of time too: KeystonePosterDraft


If you want to delve into this more deeply, here's an in press paper, but John won't be leading a specific discussion of this Biogeochemistry paper on Thursday:

Hobbie John E. and Hobbie Erik A. (2011) Amino acid cycling in plankton and soil microbes studied with radioisotopes: measured amino acids in soil do not reflect bioavailability.Biogeochemistry, in press.



February 17 -- Zoe Cardon (in prep for ASM and Keystone)

Zoe will be attending a American Academy of Microbiology colloquium to discuss "Linking Microbes to Climate: Incorporating microbial activity into climate models", sponsored by the Moore Foundation and by DOE Genomic Science. In prep for the discussion, please read:

(1) Description of the colloquium itself from the organizers.

(2) A publicly available description of those projects funded by a recent DOE C Sequestration genomics call.  (By no means do we need to stick to carbon in our discussion) 

What perspective(s) have we developed over the last three years of MicroEco discussion group that might be brought to that colloquium table? 


February 24 -- No meeting -- February vacation


March 3 -- Cat Luria

Yooseph et al. (2010) Genomic and functional adaptation in surface ocean planktonic prokaryotes. Nature 468, 60-66. doi:10.1038/nature09530 Article


March 10 -- Jessica Mark Welch

Marsh PD, Moter A, and Devine DA (2011) Dental plaque biofilms: communities, conflict and control. Periodontology 2000, 55: 16–35


March 17 -- Angus Angermeyer



March 24 - Chris Algar

Gao et al. (2010) Aerobic denitrification in permeable Wadden Sea sediments. The ISME Journal 4, 417–426


March 31- Nuria Fernandez Gonzalez - CANCELLED! Will be rescheduled!!

Hannes Peter , Sara Beier , Stefan Bertilsson, Eva S Lindström, Silke Langenheder and Lars J Tranvik. (2011) Function-specific response to depletion of microbial diversity. The ISME Journal 5, 351–361; doi:10.1038/ismej.2010.119


April 7 no meeting -- (all Ecosystems PIs at a retreat)


April 14 Nuria Fernandez Gonzalez (see March 31, above, for paper)


April 21 No meeting -- school break


April 28 Hugh Ducklow and Matthew Erickson

No assigned paper to read ahead of time -- just come to hear about their research in the antarctic!


May 5 Jessica Mark Welch

Luo et al. (2011)  Genome sequencing of environmental Escherichia coli expands understanding of the ecology and speciation of the model bacterial species. PNAS Early Edition.  


May 12 -- no takers yet...we'll discuss during MicroEco May 5 whether to fill this slot or wait until September!