Application of liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry based metabolomics and kinetic flux profiling to the study of carbon cycling and cell-cell signaling in oceanic microbial communities.
Campagna, S. R., May, A. L., Gooding, J. R., Szul, M. J., Zinser, E. R., & Van Mooy, B. A. S. (2011). Application of liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry based metabolomics and kinetic flux profiling to the study of carbon cycling and cell-cell signaling in oceanic microbial communities.Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society.
Carbon cycling in the world's oceans is an important process that interconverts inorganic and organic forms of carbon. Our work has focused primarily on understanding the metabolic interplay between photosynthetic Prochlorococcus, which fix CO2, and heterotrophic bacteria that form mixed microbial communities. To this end, we have examined the metabolism of both the phototrophs and the heterotrophs alone and in combination and have also begun to profile metabolic fluxes between these microorganisms using stable-isotope labeled nutrient sources. Recently, we have also found that cell-cell signaling systems, e.g. quorum sensing, plays a role in regulating the metabolism of oceanic microbial consortia, and the impact of these systems on the metabolism of these species has also been studied using several biochemical and metabolomics methods. Data from each of these studies will be presented along with a discussion of how microbial interplay affects the biochemistry of nutrient cycling in marine environments.