Marvin Whiteley

Whiteley, Marvin



Main Office: NMS 3.124
Phone: (512) 471-5493

Alternate Office: NMS 3.254
Phone: (512) 475-6981

Mailing Address:
The University of Texas at Austin
Molecular Biosciences
2506 Speedway Stop A5000
Austin, TX 78712-1191

Research Lab Students:
    Graduate Student
  • Huse, Holly - Graduate Student
  • Jorth, Peter - Graduate Student
  • Korgaonkar, Aishwarya - Graduate Student
  • Palmer, Gregory - Graduate Student
  • Ramsey, Matthew - Graduate Student
  • Stacy, Apollo - Graduate Student
  • Wessel, Aimee - Graduate Student
    Post Doctoral
  • Schertzer, Jeff - Post Doctoral
  • McLean, Robert - Staff

  • Research Summary:

    Bacteria exhibit many social activities and represent a model for dissecting social behavior at the genetic level (recently defined as sociomicrobiology). One example of social behavior in bacteria is the use of small molecules to communicate within a bacterial population, a process referred to as quorum sensing. Recent work has provided evidence that quorum sensing allows bacteria to amass a coordinated response in a density-dependent manner to accomplish tasks which would be difficult to achieve for a single bacterium. Although much is understood about the molecules used for communication, little is known about how these molecules are trafficked within a bacterial population or how these molecules are perceived by individual bacterial cells. My laboratory is interested in understanding the mechanism of signal trafficking between bacterial cells and how these signals are perceived by individual cells. We currently use two pathogenic bacteria, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans and a plant commensal Sinorhizobium meliloti to study signal trafficking and perception between bacterial cells and between bacteria and eukaryotic cells. Recent evidence in our laboratory indicates that some bacteria package signals into membrane vesicles that facilitate delivery of these molecules to other cells within the population. This mechanism of signal trafficking is significantly impacted by the nutritional environment and studies are currently under way to understand how specific nutritional cues impact the ability of bacterial cells to produce and perceive signals. The overall goal of my lab is to understand signal trafficking and perception at the molecular level as well as provide an ecological role for these communication systems in the natural environment.

    2007Palmer, K.L., Brown, S.A. and M. Whiteley, Membrane-bound nitrate reductase is required for anaerobic growth in cystic fibrosis sputum, J Bacteriol 189:4449-4455.
    2007Palmer, K.L., Aye, L.M. and M. Whiteley, Nutritional cues control Pseudomonas aeruginosa multicellular behavior in cystic fibrosis sputum, J Bacteriol 189:8079-8087.
    2007Brown, S.A. and M. Whiteley., A novel exclusion mechanism for carbon preference in Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans., J Bacteriol.
    2006Teitzel, G.M., A. Geddie, S.K. De Long, M.J. Kirisits, M. Whiteley and M.R. Parsek, Survival and Growth in the Presence of Elevated Copper:Transcriptional Profiling of Copper-Stressed Pseudomonas aeruginosa, J. Bacteriol 188:7242-7256.
    2006Bates, C.L.,m M.R.J. Forstner, M.B. Barnes, M. Whiteley and R.J. C. McLean, Heterotrophic limestone-adherent biofilm isolates from the Edward's acquifer, Texas, The Southwestern Naturalist 51:299-309.
    2006Dietrich L.E., A. Price-Whelan, A. Petersen, M. Whiteley, and D.K. Newman, The phenazine pyocyanin is a termina signaling factor in the quorum sensing network of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Mol. Microbiol 61:1308-21.
    2006Moreira CG, K.P. Palmer, M. Whiteley, MP Sircili, LR Trabulsi, AF Castro, V. Sperandio, Bundle Forming Pili and EspA are involved in Biofilm formation by Enteropathogenic Eschenchia coli, J. Bacteriol 188:3952-61.
    2006Aspendon, A., K.P. Palmer and M. Whiteley, Microarray analysis of the osmotic stress response in Pseudomonas aeruginosa, J. Bacteriol 188:2721-5.
    2006L.M. Mashburn and M. Whiteley., Special Delivery: vesicle trafficking in prokaryotes., Mol Micro 61:839-846.
    2005Palmer, K.P., L.M. Mashburn, P.K. Singh, and M. Whiteley, Cystic fibrosis sputum supports growth and cues key aspects of Pseudomonas aeruginosa physiology, J Bacteriol 187:5267-5277.
    2005L.M. Mashburn and M. Whiteley, Membrane vesicles traffic signals and facilitate group activities in a prokaryote, Nature 437:422-426.

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