Linda L. McCarter, PhD


Professor of Microbiology

Contact Information

Office: 3-430 Bowen Science Building
51 Newton Rd
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-9721

Lab: 3-401 Bowen Science Building
51 Newton Rd
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-353-5421

Email: linda-mccarter@uiowa.edu


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

Post Doctorate, Microbiology, The Agouron Institute

Education/Training Program Affiliations

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? And, what is the role of the social life of bacteria (specifically, cell-cell communication) in all of these processes? 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 trace the regulatory circuitry that enable bacteria to establish growth, communicate and coordinate behavior, and develop structured communities on surfaces. How cells respond to their environment and each other—or to other species—while growing as communities on surfaces may be key to understanding pathogenesis of many organisms.

Center, Program and Institute Affiliations

Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Date Last Modified: 06/06/2016 - 13:17:48