Microbiology

Linda L. McCarter, PhD

Portrait

Professor of Microbiology

Contact Information

Office: 3-430 BSB
Iowa City, IA 52242
Office Phone: 319-335-9721

Lab: 3-401 BSB
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-353-5421

Email: linda-mccarter@uiowa.edu

Education

BA, Chemistry, University of Hawaii, Honolulu
PhD, Microbiology, University of California, Davis

Post Doctoral, Microbiology, The Agouron Institute, La Jolla, CA

Education/Training Program Affiliations

Biosciences Graduate Program
Department of Microbiology Graduate Program
Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Translational Biomedicine
Medical Scientist Training Program

Research Summary

In order to survive in changing environments, bacteria possess enormous adaptive capabilities that allow them to modulate their behavior and reprogram gene expression in response to environmental cues. One important survival strategy for bacteria is adhesion to and colonization of surfaces. My laboratory is focused on understanding how bacteria adapt to life on surfaces and in biofilms. We ask the following kinds of questions. How do bacteria recognize surfaces? What genes are turned on by growth on a surface? How is behavior coordinated? How do bacteria interact to develop surface-attached communities or biofilms? How do bacteria process information and make decisions-for example, make the decision to swim, swarm or stick? We also are probing the significance of surface sensing with respect to virulence of the organism. We study Vibrio parahaemolyticus, a worldwide pathogen and a model organism for surface sensing-as it undergoes the remarkable differentiation known as swarming when transitioning from liquid to surfaces. Our ultimate goal is to define the gene activity pertinent to growth on surfaces and to trace the regulatory circuitry that enable bacteria to establish growth, coordinate behavior, and develop structured communities on surfaces. How cells program gene expression when growing as communities on surfaces may be key to understanding pathogenesis of many organisms.

Specific projects:

1. Surface sensing, signal transduction and motility

2. Genetic control of growth on surfaces: cyclic di-GMP and GGDEF-EAL circuitry

3. Biofilm development and regulation of cell surface molecules such as polysaccharide

4. Cell-cell signaling and communication

5. Transcriptional profiling

6. Mechanisms of virulence

Selected Publications

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Ferreira R, Chodur D, Antunes L, Trimble M, McCarter L.  Output targets and transcriptional regulation by a cyclic dimeric GMP-responsive circuit in the Vibrio parahaemolyticus Scr network.  J Bacteriol.  2012 March. 194(5):914-24.
[Link]

Trimble M, McCarter L.  Bis-(3'-5')-cyclic dimeric GMP-linked quorum sensing controls swarming in Vibrio parahaemolyticus.  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A.  2011 November 1. 108(44):18079-84.
[Link]

Gode-Potratz C, McCarter L.  Quorum sensing and silencing in Vibrio parahaemolyticus.  J Bacteriol.  2011 August. 193(16):4224-37.
[Link]

Matz C, Nouri B, McCarter L, Martinez-Urtaza J.  Acquired type III secretion system determines environmental fitness of epidemic Vibrio parahaemolyticus in the interaction with bacterivorous protists.  PLoS One.  2011. 6(5):e20275.
[Link]

Gode-Potratz C, Kustusch R, Breheny P, Weiss D, McCarter L.  Surface sensing in Vibrio parahaemolyticus triggers a programme of gene expression that promotes colonization and virulence.  Mol Microbiol.  2011 January. 79(1):240-63.
[Link]

Gode-Potratz C, Chodur D, McCarter L.  Calcium and iron regulate swarming and type III secretion in Vibrio parahaemolyticus.  J Bacteriol.  2010 November. 192(22):6025-38.
[Link]

Ferreira R, Antunes L, Greenberg E, McCarter L.  Vibrio parahaemolyticus ScrC modulates cyclic dimeric GMP regulation of gene expression relevant to growth on surfaces.  J Bacteriol.  2008 February. 190(3):851-60.
[Link]

Kim Y, McCarter L.  ScrG, a GGDEF-EAL protein, participates in regulating swarming and sticking in Vibrio parahaemolyticus.  J Bacteriol.  2007 June. 189(11):4094-107.
[Link]

Jaques S, McCarter L.  Three new regulators of swarming in Vibrio parahaemolyticus.  J Bacteriol.  2006 April. 188(7):2625-35.
[Link]

Enos-Berlage J, Guvener Z, Keenan C, McCarter L.  Genetic determinants of biofilm development of opaque and translucent Vibrio parahaemolyticus.  Mol Microbiol.  2005 February. 55(4):1160-82.
[Link]

Date Last Modified: 07/31/2013 - 10:51:40