- Ph.D. Microbiology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2013
- B.S. Molecular Biology and Microbiology, Florida Atlantic University, 2003
Our lab is interested in understanding regulatory mechanisms that allow organisms to thrive on potently toxic metabolites. Methylobacterium species are ubiquitous plant colonizers that promote seed germination and plant development. As a methylotroph, Methylobacterium can grow on reduced one-carbon compounds and benefit from their association with plants by utilizing methanol emitted from plant tissues. Methanol growth uses high-flux carbon utilization pathways that generate formaldehyde as an obligate intermediate; formaldehyde is therefore a central metabolite and a potential stressor. While subsequent formaldehyde utilization is well-characterized, little is known about the cellular consequences of formaldehyde imbalance in Methylobacterium or the mechanisms used to maintain intracellular homeostasis and avert/repair cellular damage. We combine traditional bacteriology approaches with experimental evolution and systems-level analyses to characterize metabolic control points and their role in the mutually beneficial relationship between Methylobacterium and plants.
Downs D. M., Bazurto J. V., Gupta A., Fonseca L.L., and E. O. Voit. 2018. The three-legged stool of understanding metabolism: integrating metabolomics with biochemical genetics and computational modeling. AIMS Microbiology. 4(2): 289-303. doi: 10.3934/microbiol.2018.2.289
Bazurto J. V., Dearth, S. P., Tague, E. D., Campagna, S. R., and D. M. Downs. 2017. Untargeted metabolomics confirms and extends the understanding of the impact of aminoimidazole carboxamide ribotide (AICAR) in the metabolic network of Salmonella enterica. Microbial Cell. 5(2): 74-87.doi: 10.15698/mic2018.02.613
Bazurto J. V. and D. M. Downs. 2016. Metabolic network structure and function goes beyond conserved enzyme components. Microbial Cell. 3(1):260-262.
Bazurto J. V., Farley K. R., and D. M. Downs. 2016. An unexpected route to an essential cofactor: Escherichia coli relies on threonine for thiamine biosynthesis. mBio. 7(1):e01840-15. doi: 10.1128/mBio.01840-15
Bazurto J. V., Heitman N. J., and D. M. Downs. 2015. Aminoimidazole carboxamide ribotide exerts opposing effects on thiamine synthesis in Salmonella enterica. J. Bacteriol. 197(17):2821-2830.
Bazurto J. V. and D. M. Downs. 2013. Amino-4-imidazolecarboxamide ribotide (AICAR) directly inhibits coenzyme A biosynthesis in Salmonella enterica. J. Bacteriol. 196(4):772-9.
Bazurto J. V. and D. M. Downs. 2013. Crosstalk. Brenner’s Encyclopedia of Genetics. San Diego, CA: Academic Press. Print.
Bazurto J. V. and D. M. Downs. 2011. Plasticity in the Purine–Thiamine Metabolic Network of Salmonella. Genetics. 187(2):623-631.