Katrine Whiteson

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Integration, excision, and inversion of defined DNA segments commonly occur through site-specific recombination, a process of DNA breakage and reunion that requires no DNA synthesis or high-energy cofactor. Virtually all identified site-specific recombinases fall into one of just two families, the tyrosine recombinases and the serine recombinases, named(More)
Mucosal surfaces are a main entry point for pathogens and the principal sites of defense against infection. Both bacteria and phage are associated with this mucus. Here we show that phage-to-bacteria ratios were increased, relative to the adjacent environment, on all mucosal surfaces sampled, ranging from cnidarians to humans. In vitro studies of tissue(More)
Over the past decade, researchers have begun to characterize viral diversity using metagenomic methods. These studies have shown that viruses, the majority of which infect bacteria, are probably the most genetically diverse components of the biosphere. Here, we briefly review the incipient rise of a phage biology renaissance, which has been catalysed by(More)
To date, metagenomic studies have relied on the utilization and analysis of reads obtained using 454 pyrosequencing to replace conventional Sanger sequencing. After extensively scanning the 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene, we identified the V5 hypervariable region as a short region providing reliable identification of bacterial sequences available in public(More)
Oral bacterial communities contain species that promote health and others that have been implicated in oral and/or systemic diseases. Culture-independent approaches provide the best means to assess the diversity of oral bacteria because most of them remain uncultivable. The salivary microbiota from five adults was analyzed at three time-points by means of(More)
The cystic fibrosis (CF) lung contains thick mucus colonized by opportunistic pathogens which adapt to the CF lung environment over decades. The difficulty associated with sampling airways has impeded a thorough examination of the biochemical microhabitats these pathogens are exposed to. An indirect approach is to study the responses of microbial(More)
The airways of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients are chronically colonized by patient-specific polymicrobial communities. The conditions and nutrients available in CF lungs affect the physiology and composition of the colonizing microbes. Recent work in bioreactors has shown that the fermentation product 2,3-butanediol mediates cross-feeding between some(More)
The salivary microbiota is a potential diagnostic indicator of several diseases. Culture-independent techniques are required to study the salivary microbial community since many of its members have not been cultivated. We explored the bacterial community composition in the saliva sample using metagenomic whole genome shotgun (WGS) sequencing, the extraction(More)
Flp provides a unique opportunity to apply the tools of chemical biology to phosphoryl transfer reactions. Flp and other tyrosine recombinases catalyze site-specific DNA rearrangements via a phosphotyrosine intermediate. Unlike most related enzymes, Flp's nucleophilic tyrosine derives from a different protomer than the remainder of its active site. Because(More)
A continuously mixed series of microbial communities inhabits various points of the respiratory tract, with community composition determined by distance from colonization sources, colonization rates, and extinction rates. Ecology and evolution theory developed in the context of biogeography is relevant to clinical microbiology and could reframe the(More)