Emily wins the Socolofsky Award

Congratulations Emily on four years of hard work that have been recognized with the Socolofsky Award for undergraduate microbiology research. Some more on the award from the LSU Biological Sciences Undergraduate Student Awards website:

“The recipient shall be a Senior and shall be a full-time student engaged in a research project with one of the faculty members who is conducting microbiological research. This award recognizes significant research accomplishments, particularly presentations at scientific meetings or co-authorship of journal manuscripts.”

Emily is the second Thrash Lab undergraduate to receive this award. Her work on the OM252 clade (LSUCC0096) will be the subject of her Honors Thesis and is set to be a first authorship paper. Great work Emily! We’re so lucky to have you in the lab!

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Mike wins McDaniel Travel Award to attend #ISME17

Congratulations to Mike on winning the LSU Biological Sciences McDaniel Travel Award! 1000 clams goes a long way! Some notes on this memorial award, from the LSU Graduate Student Awards website:

“The McDaniel Travel Award is a competitive award that memoralizes Michael McDaniel, a promising graduate student who  died tragically in the second year of his PhD program.  Established by his family and given semi-annually the award funds travel expenses for graduate students to attend national or international meetings in the Biological Sciences and to present a paper or poster on the graduate research of the students.”

Mike will use this prestigious award to help him present at #ISME17 in Leipzig, Germany.

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Our LD12 cultivation manuscript has been published

Our paper on the cultivation and genomics of the freshwater SAR11 strain LSUCC0530
has been published online in the ISME Journal (Here). The SAR11 LD12 lineage evolved to colonize freshwater ecosystems, and, like its marine cousins, occurs as one of the most
abundant freshwater bacterioplankton worldwide. Strain LSUCC0530 represents the first
cultivated representative of the LD12 clade and presented the Thrash lab with an
unprecedented opportunity to provide new insights into the important evolutionary
processes behind marine-freshwater transitions. Specifically, we demonstrated the capacity of strain LSUCC0530 to grow in salinities up to 5, provided evidence for LD12 ecotype differentiation based on temperature, and developed a hypothesis on how the loss of key genetic functions enabled the SAR11 clade to transition into fresh water. This work is only the beginning of our exploration into the SAR11 LD12 clade and its marine-freshwater transition, so be on the look out for more data soon!

If you have any questions or want to know more about LSUCC0530, please feel free to contact us! We are more than willing to answer any questions you may have.

Henson, Michael W.,  V. Celeste Lanclos, Brant C. Faircloth, and J. Cameron Thrash. (2018) Cultivation and genomics of the first freshwater SAR11 (LD12) isolate. The ISME Journal. AOP.

 

Sampling at the Calcasieu Jetties

On Monday, January 15th, I got to join Celeste on a sampling trip to Calcasieu Jetties in Cameron, Louisiana. This was my first time going on a sampling trip since joining the Thrash Lab. While it was quite a cold morning, it was still a fun time. There were some beautiful views along the way of Louisiana’s marshes.

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View of the marshes

Once we got to the sampling site, Celeste had the joy of wading out into the cold water and collecting.  At least it was a beautiful morning with the sun shining down and bright blue skies.

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The sampling site
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Celeste striking a victory pose after collecting the water sample
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Celeste filtering the sample

The purpose of this trip was to obtain a water sample for the mCURE sections of introductory biology lab. Using this sample, the students will learn high throughput cultivation protocols used in the Thrash Lab. I’m happy to have been able to help with the fieldwork and hope that the students enjoy learning about what our lab does.

Thrash Lab presentations at Ocean Sciences

We’re going to Ocean Sciences in Portland next week. Both Celeste and Mike have posters on Thursday, February 15th from 1600-1800:

MM44A-1512: The Ecology, Physiology, and Genomic Analysis of Novel SAR11 Isolates

MM44A-1513: Cultivation, genomics, and characterization of the first isolate from the freshwater SAR11 clade LD12

Session MM44A: Functional, Ecological, and Evolutionary Implications of Microdiversity and Intraspecific Variability in Aquatic Microorganisms I.

 

Diving the Dead Zone

Back in August, I accompanied Nancy Rabalais and LUMCON dive safety officer Ben Acker on a dive trip to station C6C. That location is an oil platform south of Terrebonne Bay with equipment for monitoring water conditions such as temperature, salinity, and dissolved oxygen. I’ve posted before about our work there exchanging equipment and taking samples. I’m involved with the LUMCON dive team through my continued collaboration with Nancy in researching seasonal hypoxia (a.k.a. the Dead Zone) in the region. For example, see our most recent paper on dead zone microbiology. The purpose of this particular trip was to show CBS News the heart of the Dead Zone. Nancy’s recent NOAA-sponsored hypoxia cruise (see Celeste’s trip report) revealed that this year’s zone of hypoxia was the largest ever, and it has attracted a lot of attention as a result. Below is the full-length GoPro footage of the dive, in three parts. A big chunk of the second and third parts are in blackness, at the bottom of the dive, where we searched, in vain, for a lost piece of equipment. But there is some beautiful footage of the rest of the water column if you scroll through the individual videos. A portion of this was included in the CBS News profile. UPDATE 10/4/17: Times-Picayune reporter Sara Sneath found this post and put together a cool summary and link for us at NOLA.com.