University of Georgia
Michael Adams is a Principal Investigator, whose primary research interests are the metabolism of metals and their assimilation into metalloproteins. His laboratory conducts elemental analyses (53 metals) of environmental samples and is developing methods for high throughput characterization of metalloproteins in microbial biomass. His team supplies isolates and data to downstream efforts in the Environmental Atlas and Environmental Simulation aims.
Our overall goal is to discover metal-based molecular mechanisms that either enable biological processes to occur (e.g. denitrification and DNRA) or enable microbes to resist metal toxicity. We will enrich, isolate and characterize new strains of individual microorganisms and microbial communities from groundwater, sediment, and bioreactors. We will determine the molecular mechanisms of these metal-related stresses through trace metal analyses, enzyme assays, high-throughput enrichment techniques, advanced mutant fitness and metabolomics techniques, and protein characterization. The overall goal is to determine the mechanisms by which individual genes provide a competitive advantage relative to other community members in ORR environments. This laboratory work will be guided by our ongoing work as part of the environmental (field) analysis team, in which we provide trace metal analysis (ICP-MS) on hundreds of groundwater and sediment samples each year. In addition, we will continue to provide metal-based analyses and technical knowledge to other ENIGMA researchers per their requests.
Our work will be focused on detailed phenotypic and genetic characterization of the selected strains from the Sub Surface Observatory (SSO) experiment. We will enrich for tungsten-utilizing, archaea, and/or metal-resistant microbes. We will examine the pH range, carbon source preference, and resistance to and preference for different metals in the selected temporal strains. Using various growth conditions, we will examine how the strains accumulated different metals in their cytoplasmic or membrane fractions as measured by trace metal analysis. With ENIGMA collaborators, we will examine genome sequences and perform targeted transcription studies to predict metal-related regulatory pathways. In addition, we will perform trace metal analysis of samples from collaborators working on environmental (field) and bioreactor samples.