Heather K. Allen

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Antibiotic-resistant pathogens are profoundly important to human health, but the environmental reservoirs of resistance determinants are poorly understood. The origins of antibiotic resistance in the environment is relevant to human health because of the increasing importance of zoonotic diseases as well as the need for predicting emerging resistant(More)
Despite the threat posed by antibiotic resistance in infectious bacteria, little is known about the diversity, distribution and origins of resistance genes, particularly among the as yet unculturable environmental bacteria. One potentially rich but largely unstudied environmental reservoir is soil. The complexity of its microbial community coupled with its(More)
Disturbance of the beneficial gut microbial community is a potential collateral effect of antibiotics, which have many uses in animal agriculture (disease treatment or prevention and feed efficiency improvement). Understanding antibiotic effects on bacterial communities at different intestinal locations is essential to realize the full benefits and(More)
MOTIVATION The massive data produced by next-generation sequencing require advanced statistical tools. We address estimating the total diversity or species richness in a population. To date, only relatively simple methods have been implemented in available software. There is a need for software employing modern, computationally intensive statistical(More)
Antibiotics have been administered to agricultural animals for disease treatment, disease prevention, and growth promotion for over 50 y. The impact of such antibiotic use on the treatment of human diseases is hotly debated. We raised pigs in a highly controlled environment, with one portion of the littermates receiving a diet containing(More)
UNLABELLED Antibiotics are a cost-effective tool for improving feed efficiency and preventing disease in agricultural animals, but the full scope of their collateral effects is not understood. Antibiotics have been shown to mediate gene transfer by inducing prophages in certain bacterial strains; therefore, one collateral effect could be prophage induction(More)
The goal of this study was to design and evaluate a rapid screen to identify metagenomic clones that produce biologically active small molecules. We built metagenomic libraries with DNA from soil on the floodplain of the Tanana River in Alaska. We extracted DNA directly from the soil and cloned it into fosmid and bacterial artificial chromosome vectors,(More)
Despite the threat posed by antibiotic resistance in infectious bacteria, little is known about the diversity, distribution and origins of resistance genes, particularly among the as yet unculturable environmental bacteria. One potentially rich but largely unstudied environmental reservoir is soil. The complexity of its microbial community coupled with its(More)
BACKGROUND Viruses are important drivers of ecosystem functions, yet little is known about the vast majority of viruses. Viral shotgun metagenomics enables the investigation of broad ecological questions in phage communities. One ecological characteristic is species richness, which is the number of different species in a community. Viruses do not have a(More)
We have explored the microbial community in a nonpermafrost, cold Alaskan soil using both culture-based and culture-independent approaches. In the present study, we cultured >1000 bacterial isolates from this soil and characterized the collection of isolates phylogenetically and functionally. A screen for antibiosis identified an atypical, red-pigmented(More)