Jennifer C Stearns

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Microbial communities host unparalleled taxonomic diversity. Adequate characterization of environmental and host-associated samples remains a challenge for microbiologists, despite the advent of 16S rRNA gene sequencing. In order to increase the depth of sampling for diverse bacterial communities, we developed a method for sequencing and assembling millions(More)
We present bacterial biogeography as sampled from the human gastrointestinal tract of four healthy subjects. This study generated >32 million paired-end sequences of bacterial 16S rRNA genes (V3 region) representing >95,000 unique operational taxonomic units (OTUs; 97% similarity clusters), with >99% Good's coverage for all samples. The highest OTU richness(More)
Ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) outnumber ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) in many terrestrial and aquatic environments. Although nitrification is the primary function of aquarium biofilters, very few studies have investigated the microorganisms responsible for this process in aquaria. This study used quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) to quantify the(More)
The upper respiratory tract (URT) is a crucial site for host defense, as it is home to bacterial communities that both modulate host immune defense and serve as a reservoir of potential pathogens. Young children are at high risk of respiratory illness, yet the composition of their URT microbiota is not well understood. Microbial profiling of the respiratory(More)
The plant hormone ethylene is an essential signaling molecule involved in many plant processes including: germination, flower development, fruit ripening and responses to many environmental stimuli. Moreover, large increases in ethylene levels occur during plant stress responses, fruit ripening and flower wilting. Manipulation of ethylene biosynthesis or(More)
Gastrointestinal microbiota, consisting of microbial communities in the gastrointestinal tract, play an important role in digestive, metabolic, and immune functioning. Preclinical studies on rodents have linked behavioral and neurochemical changes in the central nervous system with deficits or alterations in these bacterial communities. Moreover, probiotic(More)
Plant growth-promoting bacteria are useful to phytoremediation strategies in that they confer advantages to plants in contaminated soil. When plant growth-promoting bacteria contain the enzyme 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) deaminase, the bacterial cell acts as a sink for ACC, the immediate biosynthetic precursor of the plant growth regulator(More)
RATIONALE The microbial communities inhabiting the upper respiratory tract protect from respiratory infection. The maturity of the immune system is a major influence on the composition of the microbiome and, in youth, the microbiota and immune system are believed to mature in tandem. With age, immune function declines and susceptibility to respiratory(More)
Plants in association with plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria can benefit from lower plant ethylene levels through the action of the bacterial enzyme 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) deaminase. This enzyme cleaves the immediate biosynthetic precursor of ethylene, ACC. Ethylene is responsible for many aspects of plant growth and development but,(More)
While a number of different plants can either breakdown a variety of organic contaminants or hyperaccumulate metals from the environment, even the most efficient of those plants is typically inhibited by the presence of the toxicant(s). The plant stress that is induced by the presence of various environmental toxicants typically limits a plant's growth and(More)