J.C.Murrell@uea.ac.uk

+44 (0)1603 592959 (office) / +44 (0)1603 592239 (lab)

PhD Student

Nasmille is a PhD student in the School of Environmental Sciences (ENV) at UEA and is funded by a Colombian government (Colciencias) Scholarship. Under the supervision of Prof J Colin Murrell, Nasmille is working on characterising soil microorganisms that use isoprene as their sole source of C using techniques including stable isotope probing (SIP).

Supervisors:

Prof JC Murrell
Dr Jonathan Todd
Dr Jenny Pratscher

Project: Isoprene-degrading microbes their role in the environment

Isoprene is an abundant natural hydrocarbon, since terrestrial plants release approximately 500-750 million tonnes of isoprene per year into the atmosphere. Isoprene is believed to help plants combat stress due to light and heat, and to help protect them from ozone and other reactive oxygen species. Isoprene subunits are important building blocks of the isoprenoid family of compounds that includes rubber, cholesterol and other steroids, vitamin A, carotenoids, monoterpenes and the polyisoprene tail component of compounds such as chlorophyll and vitamin K, and isoprene is produced from intermediates of their biosynthetic pathways. We have shown that isoprene-degrading bacteria are present in soils and on the leaves of plants where they are likely to consume isoprene and may influence the global isoprene cycle.

The overall aim of the project is to obtain a critical, fundamental understanding of the metabolism and ecological importance of biological isoprene degradation and to test the hypothesis that isoprene-degrading bacteria play a crucial role in moderating isoprene flux to the atmosphere. This will be achieved by isolation and characterization of isoprene degraders from soil and leaves and the use of cultivation-independent techniques to study the ecology of these bacteria.

Techniques used:

•  Cultivation
•  PCR
•  DNA sequencing
•  Gas chromatography
•  DNA- stable isotope probing (SIP)
•  Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE)

Qualifications:

MSc Microbiology (2010)
Awarded a full scholarship by Universidad de los Andes.
Centro de Investigaciones Microbiologicas (CIMIC) at Universidad de los Andes.
Bogotá, Colombia.
Thesis title: “An Explosive Condition: Open Cast Pit Mining Culturable Microbial Subsurface Diversity and the Expression of Nitrogen Cycle Genes”

BSc Microbiology (2008)
Centro de Investigaciones Microbiologicas (CIMIC) at Universidad de los Andes.
Bogotá, Colombia.
Thesis title: “Characterization of prominent aerobic coal mine original bacteria that employ the explosive ANFO as an alternative carbon and nitrogen source.”

BSc Biology (2008)
Centro de Investigaciones Microbiologicas (CIMIC) at Universidad de los Andes.
Bogotá, Colombia.
Thesis title: “Characterization of prominent aerobic coal mine original bacteria that employ the explosive ANFO as an alternative carbon and nitrogen source.”

Funding:

Profile

millie

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