Marcia S. Osburne

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Recent progress in molecular microbial ecology has revealed that traditional culturing methods fail to represent the scope of microbial diversity in nature, since only a small proportion of viable microorganisms in a sample are recovered by culturing techniques. To develop methods to investigate the full extent of microbial diversity, we used a bacterial(More)
T4-like myoviruses are ubiquitous, and their genes are among the most abundant documented in ocean systems. Here we compare 26 T4-like genomes, including 10 from non-cyanobacterial myoviruses, and 16 from marine cyanobacterial myoviruses (cyanophages) isolated on diverse Prochlorococcus or Synechococcus hosts. A core genome of 38 virion construction and DNA(More)
Podovirus P-SSP7 infects Prochlorococcus marinus, the most abundant oceanic photosynthetic microorganism. Single-particle cryo-electron microscopy yields icosahedral and asymmetrical structures of infectious P-SSP7 with 4.6-A and 9-A resolution, respectively. The asymmetric reconstruction reveals how symmetry mismatches are accommodated among five of the(More)
Violacein is a purple-colored, broad-spectrum antibacterial pigment that has a dimeric structure composed of 5-hydroxyindole, oxindole and 2-pyyrolidone subunits formed by the condensation of two modified tryptophan molecules. The violacein biosynthetic gene cluster from Chromobacterium violaceum was characterized by DNA sequencing, transposon mutagenesis,(More)
E. coli recombinant expression systems that utilize lac operon control elements to modulate gene expression are known to produce some amount of uninduced (leaky) gene expression. Previously, we showed that high levels of uninduced gene expression was a major cause of instability in the pET expression system. We show here that the pET system, in which the(More)
BACKGROUND Bacterial viruses (phages) play a critical role in shaping microbial populations as they influence both host mortality and horizontal gene transfer. As such, they have a significant impact on local and global ecosystem function and human health. Despite their importance, little is known about the genomic diversity harbored in phages, as methods(More)
The marine cyanobacteria Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus are highly abundant in the global oceans, as are the cyanophage with which they co-evolve. While genomic analyses have been relatively extensive for cyanomyoviruses, only three cyanopodoviruses isolated on marine cyanobacteria have been sequenced. Here we present nine new cyanopodovirus genomes, and(More)
To further explore possible avenues for accessing microbial biodiversity for drug discovery from natural products, we constructed and screened a 5,000-clone "shotgun" environmental DNA library by using an Escherichia coli-Streptomyces lividans shuttle cosmid vector and DNA inserts from microbes derived directly (without cultivation) from soil. The library(More)
The enormous diversity of uncultured microorganisms in soil and other environments provides a potentially rich source of novel natural products, which is critically important for drug discovery efforts. Our investigators reported previously on the creation and screening of an Escherichia coli library containing soil DNA cloned and expressed in a bacterial(More)
Natural products have been a critically important source of clinically relevant small molecule therapeutics. However, the discovery rate of novel structural classes of antimicrobial molecules has declined. Recently, increasing evidence has shown that the number of species cultivated from soil represents less than 1% of the total population, opening up the(More)