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Michael Sadowsky

Professor, Head of the Biotechnology Institute

Education & Background

B.S., 1977, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Bacteriology

M.S., 1979, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Microbiology

Ph.D., 1983, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Microbiology


Research in my laboratory is directed at several areas of environmental microbiology. One of the major research efforts of my laboratory is directed toward the development of technologies to determine sources of fecal pollution in waterways. Specifically, we are using DNA fingerprinting and other genomic techniques to examine large populations of E. coli bacteria to determine which animal sources are contributing to the fecal loading of critical rural and urban streams, lakes, and rivers.  Research efforts in my laboratory are also directed towards the identification and examination of  bacterial genes involved in the early periods of legume-microbe symbioses. We are specifically interested in studying Rhizobium and Bradyrhizobium genes which play a prominent role in host/microbe communication and recognition and, those involved in competition among soil microbes in the root zone of  soybean an clover plants.  Lastly, researchers in my laboratory are involved in the identification and characterization of bacterial genes,- proteins, and metabolic pathways involved in the biodegradation of atrazine and related triazine herbicides. Moreover, we are investigating the use of purified enzymes, and transgenic bacteria and plants, to bioremediate herbicide-contaminated soils and water.


Sugawara, M., E. J. Cytryn, and M. J. Sadowsky. 2010. Functional role of Bradyhizobium japonicum trehalose biosynthetic and metabolic genes during physiological stress and nodulation. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. In Press. doi:10.1128/AEM.02483-09.

Khoruts, A., J. Dicksved, J. K. Jansson, and M. J. Sadowsky. 2010. Changes in the Composition of the human fecal microbiome following bacteriotherapy for recurrent Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea. J. Clin. Gastro. doi: 10.1097/MCG.0b013e3181c87e02.

Li, Q., J. L. Seffernick, M. J. Sadowsky, and L. P. Wackett. 2009 Thermostable cyanuric acid hydrolase from Moorella thermoacetica ATCC 39073. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. In Press: doi:10.1128?AEM.01605-09.

Ishii, S., Tao. Yan, H. Vul, D. Hansen, R. E. Hicks, and M. J. Sadowsky. 2009. Factors controlling long-term survival and growth of naturalized Escherichia coli in temperate field soils. Microbes and Environ. doi:10.1264/jsme2.ME09172.

Byappanahalli, M. N., R. Sawdey, S. Ishii, D. A. Shively, J. A. Ferguson, R. L. Whitman,  and M. J. Sadowsky. 2009. Seasonal stability of Cladophora-associated Salmonella in Lake Michigan watersheds. Water Research 43:806-814.

Sadowsky, M. J., W. C. Koskinen, M. Bischoff, B. L. Barber, J. M. Baker, and R. F. Turco. 2009. Rapid and complete degradation of the herbicide picloram by Lipomyces kononenkoae. J. Agric Food Chem. 57:4878-4882.

Cytryn, E. J., S. Jitacksorn, E. Giraud, and M. J. Sadowsky. 2008. Insights learned from pBTAi1, a 229 Kb accessory plasmid from Bradyrhizobium sp. strain BTAi1 and prevalence of accessory plasmids in other Bradyrhizobium sp. strains. ISME J. 2: 158-170.

Franck, W. L., Chang, W. S., Qiu, J., Sugawara, M., Sadowsky, M. J., Smith, S.A., and Stacey, G. 2008. Whole-Gnome transcriptional profiling of Bradyrhizobium japonicum during chemoautotrophic growth. J. Bacteriol. doi:10.1128/JB.00543-08.

Giraud E, et al. and M. J. Sadowsky.    2007. Legumes symbioses: absence of Nod genes in photosynthetic bradyrhizobia. Science 316:1307-1312.

Yan, T., M. Hamilton, and M. J. Sadowsky. 2007. High throughput and quantitative procedure for determining sources of Escherichia coli in waterways using host-specific DNA marker genes. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 73:890–896.



258 Borlaug Hall
1991 Upper Buford Circle
St. Paul, MN 55108