A novel pathway for the production of the climate cooling gas dimethyl sulfide - how important is the mddA gene to global DMS emissions?

Lead Research Organisation: University of East Anglia
Department Name: Biological Sciences

Abstract

The "smell of the seaside" is actually caused by a gaseous compound called dimethyl sulfide (DMS) that is produced by microbes. This gas is important because it is a very abundant organic sulfur compound which is released to the air from the marine environment. Globally, approximately 300 million tons of DMS per annum is produced, mainly by bacteria. Also, chemical products arising from DMS oxidation help form clouds over the oceans, to an extent that affects the sunlight reaching the Earth's surface, with effects on climate. In turn, these products are delivered back to Earth as rain, representing a key component of the global sulfur cycle. Interestingly, DMS is a potent chemo-attractant for many organisms including seabirds, crustaceans and marine mammals that all move towards DMS because they associate DMS with food.

Currently it is widely accepted that DMS is mainly produced as a result of microbes degrading the osmolyte dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP), which is produced by phytoplankton in the oceans, by seaweeds and by a few salt-tolerant plants. Our preliminary work and that of Ron Kiene, has prompted us to question whether it is solely these processes that produce DMS.

In our preliminary data we have:
1. Found a microbial pathway, the methanethiol-dependent DMS production (Mdd) pathway, that produces DMS but which does not involve DMSP.
2. Shown how the bacterium "Pseudomonas deceptionensis" makes DMS via a gene called mddA.
3. Shown that this gene is found in a wide range of bacteria such as Bradyrhizobium japonicum, a nitrogen-fixing symbiont of soybeans, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of tuberculosis and some cyanobacteria.
4. Shown that the Mdd pathway is active in both salty and freshwater sediments and that the mddA gene is abundant in bacteria living in marine sediments.
5. Shown that other bacteria have other undiscovered ways of making DMS from methanethiol.

We wish to investigate how important this novel DMS production pathway is for the global production of this climate changing gas. To answer this question, we will sample various marine and freshwater environments and investigate how active the Mdd pathway is in these environments and how this novel pathway for the production of DMS is regulated. We already know that this Mdd pathway is probably active in most of our sample sites, which include mud from a saltmarsh, a freshwater lake, a peat bog and seawater.

It is equally important to know which microbes are responsible for the process (mediated by Mdd) and why they produce DMS. We will use a powerful suite of microbial ecology techniques, combined with genetic tools to identify the microbes and the key genes involved in producing DMS via this new Mdd pathway.

We will identify: a) the microbes living in both the oxic and anoxic mud samples and in seawater; b) how these microbial communities change when we enrich for increased DMS production via the Mdd pathway and c) which forms of the mddA gene (and the enzyme encoded by this gene) are responsible for high DMS production in these varied environments.

To understand how and why bacteria in the environment are Mdd active, we will study in detail a few model bacteria, some of which have been isolated from our sample sites. This will involve identifying and mutating the genes encoding the Mdd pathway to ascertain why they use it. This will be done with bacteria that have a specific gene "mddA", but, also on those that do not, which will allow us to identify new mdd genes.

Given the environmental consequences of the climate-active gas DMS, it is important to know which types of microbes affect its production and which of the various potential pathways are involved. This will help us in the future to model how changes in the environment impact on the balance of these climate processes.

Planned Impact

A mechanistic understanding of pathways that liberate the climate-cooling gas dimethyl sulfide (DMS), the biodiversity of microbes carrying out the processes and environmental stimuli that regulate DMS production will provide essential data for future modelling of DMS emissions from both marine and terrestrial environments. As summarised in Academic Beneficiaries, we feel that this work will be of paramount interest to a range of scientists including microbiologists, molecular ecologists, computational biologists, biological modellers and biochemists because of the microbial diversity data that we generate on important and sensitive natural environments. The extensive biological databases and resources that we generate from the natural study sites will be invaluable and will perfectly complement the existing microbiological knowledge of important ecosystems. The environments that we will study are not well-characterised in terms of their microbial diversity and the metagenomic data and data on the distribution and diversity of genes involved in DMS production that will be generated in the project will make a substantial contribution to environmental microbiology. The metabolic pathways we will study and identification of "new genes" will also provide context for the many unidentified genes that are present in the burgeoning number of microbial genomes that are being deposited into databases. We firmly believe that our approach of studying new processes in model organisms and then relating these processes to what is happening in the environment is a good way of reducing the number of "unknown genes" in microbial genomes and metagenome datasets. We do not envisage any immediate commercial or policy outputs from the work although any new enzymes discovered will be assessed for their biotransformation capabilities, particularly with respect to organic sulfur compounds.

Research on biological DMS production is well-represented in recent high impact journal publications and is a well-funded and publicised area of NERC-based research, exemplified in the special report on microbial DMS production in NERC's Planet Earth (Summer 2009). Thus, we are confident that this project will be of interest to a wide scientific audience. We will, of course, continue to disseminate our findings through the usual publication channels, but will also strive to include other publications in journals that have wider and less specialised audiences, such as New Scientist, the Microbiologist, Microbiology Today and Scientific American.

As described in Pathway to Impact, there is clear evidence that the media/general public found our previous NERC-funded work into DMS production to be interesting e.g. the Todd et al (2007) Science paper led to appearances on TV, both in the UK and in Germany, radio interviews and press reports throughout the world. We will continue to disseminate our findings to the public and media through the UEA Communications Office and NERC.

Our Pathway to Impact focuses on delivering its outcomes mainly to our younger generation. This will be done through the SAW (Science Art Writing) scheme (http://www.sawtrust.org/) and Natural England, and will involve several local primary and secondary schools near UEA. We also plan to build on the "Beacon of Public Engagement" award "CueEast" (Community University Engagement East) to UEA and its partners. We will host visits of school students at 6th form level in our labs and continue our outreach work to schoolchildren in the Norwich area through visits, talks and student projects. Development and maintenance of an interactive website detailing our work will allow us to reach a wider audience that we cannot reach via the above "local" proposals.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description We discovered that many bacteria from diverse environments produce the climate-active gas dimethyl sulfide (DMS) in the absence of its main biological precursor dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP). Using some of these bacteria as model systems, we identified a novel pathway for the production of DMS, termed the methanethiol-dependent DMS (Mdd) pathway. We identified the key gene in this process, termed mddA. The mddA gene was found to be widespread in terrestrial and marine bacteria and environments. This work produced a high-impact publication in Nature Communications, reporting these findings.This publication changed the widely held perception that DMSP is the only significant precursor molecule for DMS. In the remaining time on this grant, we are studying the significance of this process in varied environments. Following on from this research, we have visited and sampled multiple marine and terrestrial environments using culture-dependent and independent techniques to assess the importance of this novel pathway. In 2017 we published a manuscript in ISME J showing that the Mdd pathway is abundant and functional in terrestrial soil environments and that likely this pathway is not too significant in most of these environments due to the low levels of available methanethiol. We have also carried out similar experiments on marine environments, principally on Stiffkey saltmarsh. This will result in a similar manuscript in the near future. Also, through this grant and the novel bacteria we have isolated, we have found many bacteria that have novel ways of metabolising DMS, making DMSP and degrading DMSP. This research is being continued and manuscripts will result in the future.
Exploitation Route Our work is identifying novel genes involved in key biogeochemical cycles. These genes, for example mddA, will be used by many scientists to study the importance of this process in environmental datasets and organisms. This research is also identifying other key organosulfur cycling genes which will follow suit in providing useful genetic probes to the scientific community.
Sectors Environment

 
Description Collaboration with JB Raina at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia 
Organisation University of Technology Sydney
Country Australia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Myself and my research team (including Dr Carrion, Dr Curson and Dr Pinchbeck; and PhD students Ana Bermejo Martinez and Beth Williams) collaborate with Dr Raina to carry out the localisation of isotopes within microbes using NANOSIMS technology.
Collaborator Contribution We identified novel genes involved in the cycling of DMSP/DMS and of betaine in multiple different prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbes. We shared our data with Dr Raina who used his expertise to link our localisation work of key enzymes to the localisation of key labelled compounds within our model organisms.
Impact Our most recent Nature Microbiology paper Curson et al., (2018) DSYB catalyses the key step of dimethylsulfoniopropionate biosynthesis in many phytoplankton, was an out put from this collaboration. The work is multidisciplinary involving: Molecular biology, Molecular Ecology, bioinformatics, algal physiology, NANOSIMS and ImmunoGold localisation for example.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Crystallisation of enzymes involved in DMSP synthesis 
Organisation Shandong University
Country China 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collaborating with Dr. Yu-Zhong Zhang (Shandong University, China) we have provided clones of the key enzymes involved in DMSP synthesis for further purification and crystallisation.
Collaborator Contribution Dr. Yu-Zhong Zhang (Shandong University, China) has purified and crystallised key enzymes involved in DMSP synthesis.
Impact As a result of this collaboration the structure of key enzymes involved in DMSP synthesis has been crystallised. This will be included in the forthcoming publications.
Start Year 2015
 
Description DMSP catabolism by important pelagic bacteria 
Organisation Oregon State University
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have identified novel DMSP catabolic genes in marine SAR11 bacteria. We have cloned, overexpressed and purified these enzymes and characterised their biochemical properties.
Collaborator Contribution Stephen Giovannoni at Oregon State University has grown SAR11 bacteria, characterised their DMSP catabolic phenotypes and has carried out detailed proteomics and bioinformatics studies
Impact This work is currently in review in Nature Journal. The study is multi-disciplinary involving microbiology, bioinformatics, biochemistry and molecular biology.
Start Year 2012
 
Description Microbial generation of dimethylsulphide that is independent of dimethylsulphoniopropionate 
Organisation University of Barcelona
Country Spain 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The visiting PhD student Ornella Carrion Fonseca identified a bacterium that produced dimethylsulphide (DMS) independent of dimethylsulphoniopropionate (DMSP). Within my lab we characterised the novel pathway of DMS production and isolated the first gene involved in this process. We mutated the gene and studied its biochemistry and occurrence in other microbes. Elena Mercadé Gil (University of Barcelona) on DMSP-independent DMS production pathways
Collaborator Contribution Elena Mercadé Gil and Ornella Carrion Fonseca at The University of Barcelona isolated the bacterium from Antarctic sediment and carried out some localisation experiments, and gas chromatography mass spectrometry work.
Impact I obtained a full NERC grant based around these findings (NE/M004449/1) with Prof. Colin Murrell (CoI) and Dr Carrion Fonseca (Researcher/CoI). we currently working on reviews to a publication reporting this work in nature Communications. The work is multi-disciplinary involving microbiology, biogeochemistry, biochemistry, bioinformatics and physiology.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Microbial synthesis of dimethylsulphoniopropionate and dimethylsuphide (Prof. Xiao-Hua Zhang Ocean University, China) 
Organisation Ocean University of China
Country China 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collaborating with Prof. Xiao-Hua Zhang (Ocean University, China) we are characterising the molecular genetic systems utilised by marine organisms in their catabolism and synthesis of dimethylsulphoniopropionate (DMSP).
Collaborator Contribution Prof. Xiao-Hua Zhang (Ocean University, China) has isolated thousands of marine microbes and is screening them for their ability to produce and catabolise dimethylsulphoniopropionate (DMSP). Any positive strains are shipped to UEA for molecular characterisation.
Impact There are no output as yet but a full NERC grant will be submitted on this subject in January 2015.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Relating denitrification to DMSP cycling 
Organisation University of East Anglia
Department Biomedical Research Centre
Country Unknown 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Through work on our current NERC grants, we collaborate with Prof. David Richardson, Dr Gary Rowley and Dr Andrew Gates on work relating the process of denitrification to DMSP cycling in important marine prokaryotes and eukaryotes. We provide expertise, bacterial and plankton model organisms and methods to characterise these processes in the marine environment. We cosupervise PhD students with these collaborators on this topic.
Collaborator Contribution Prof. David Richardson, Dr Gary Rowley and Dr Andrew Gates provide expertise in the denitrification process.
Impact 1 NERC EnvEast PhD studentiship and 1 UEA-funded PhD studentship.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Subcellular localisation of DMSP and DMS-producing enzymes in eukaryotes and prokaryotes 
Organisation University of Barcelona
Country Spain 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collaborating with Dr. Elena Mercade (University of Barcelona, Spain) we are growing eukaryotes and prokaryotes that produce DMSP and/or DMS and providing specific antibodies against the enzymes involved to localise them at a subcellular level.
Collaborator Contribution Dr. Elena Mercade (University of Bacelona, Spain) has prepared samples for immunogold labelling with the specific antibodies provided by us and used Transmission Electronic Microcoscopy to localise the enzymes involved in DMSP and/or DMS synthesis in the cells.
Impact The collaboration has successfully allowed the localisation of key enzymes involved in DMSP and/or DMS production in diatoms and bacteria. These results will be included in the forthcoming publications.
Start Year 2014
 
Description The importance of bacterial DMSP production in Chinese Mangroves. 
Organisation Huazhong Agricultural University
Department College of Veterinary Medicine
Country China 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We provide knowledge and expertise on bacterial DMSP production to enable an environmental microbiological study of the importance of bacteria in DMSP production in Chinese mangrove swamps. This involved us designing enrichment experiments for the isolation of DMSP-producing bacteria. We provided ratified gene probes and techniques to study the expression and abundance of key genes involved in DMSP production in environmental samples. Furthermore, we provided expertise in the analysis of metagenomic data generated from mangrove swamp environmental samples.
Collaborator Contribution Prof. Youguo Li obtained samples from local mangrove swamps and conducted experiments to study the importance of bacteria in DMSP production under the guidance of our group. This involved the isolation of high quality DNA and RNA which is being analysed for the abundance and diversity of bacterial DMSP synthesis genes.
Impact Nothing yet.
Start Year 2016
 
Description The importance of bacterial DMSP production in coral reef environments. 
Organisation Australian Government
Department Australian Institute of Marine Science
Country Australia 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We provide knowledge and expertise on bacterial DMSP production to enable an environmental microbiological study of the importance of bacteria in DMSP production in coral reefs. This involved us designing enrichment experiments for the isolation of DMSP-producing bacteria. We provided ratified gene probes and techniques to study the expression and abundance of key genes involved in DMSP production in environmental samples. Furthermore, we provided expertise in the analysis of metagenomic data generated from coral reef environmental samples.
Collaborator Contribution Dr David Bourne and Dr Jean-Baptiste Raina obtained samples from coral reefs and conducted experiments to study the importance of bacteria in DMSP production under the guidance of our group. This involved the isolation of high quality DNA and RNA which is being analysed for the abundance and diversity of bacterial DMSP synthesis genes. Dr Raina is localising DMSP in model phytoplankton for our project using nanoSIMS.
Impact None yet.
Start Year 2015
 
Description The importance of bacterial DMSP production in coral reef environments. 
Organisation University of Technology Sydney
Country Australia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We provide knowledge and expertise on bacterial DMSP production to enable an environmental microbiological study of the importance of bacteria in DMSP production in coral reefs. This involved us designing enrichment experiments for the isolation of DMSP-producing bacteria. We provided ratified gene probes and techniques to study the expression and abundance of key genes involved in DMSP production in environmental samples. Furthermore, we provided expertise in the analysis of metagenomic data generated from coral reef environmental samples.
Collaborator Contribution Dr David Bourne and Dr Jean-Baptiste Raina obtained samples from coral reefs and conducted experiments to study the importance of bacteria in DMSP production under the guidance of our group. This involved the isolation of high quality DNA and RNA which is being analysed for the abundance and diversity of bacterial DMSP synthesis genes. Dr Raina is localising DMSP in model phytoplankton for our project using nanoSIMS.
Impact None yet.
Start Year 2015
 
Description The production of betaine by marine phytoplankton (Dr Ruth Airs PML) 
Organisation Plymouth Marine Laboratory
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution During our NERC grant (NE/J01138X/1) we identified candidate genes involved in the synthesis of betaine. We have shown that model diatoms make betaine and that our candidate genes when cloned and expressed confer the ability to produce betaine and confer salt tolerance to Escherichia coli. In collaboration with Dr Ruth Airs we have established liquid chromatography mass spectrometry methods to detect betaine and dimethylsulphoniopropionate (DMSP) from biological samples.
Collaborator Contribution Dr Ruth Airs at PML helped us to develop and establish liquid chromatography mass spectrometry methods to detect betaine and dimethylsulphoniopropionate (DMSP) from biological samples.
Impact My postdoctoral researcher Research technicians on the NERC Grant (NE/J01138X/1) have presented our findings at the research conferences detailed below: -The Molecular Life of Diatoms, Paris, Dr Andrew Curson (Tues 25th June) -MMEG Molecular Microbial Ecology Group 2013, University of Essex, Ana Bermejo Martinez (Tues 17th Dec 2013) -6th International symposium on biological and environmental chemistry of DMS(P) and related compounds, ICM-CSIC, Barcelona, Ana Bermejo Martinez (26th - Fri 30th May 2014) As a result of this work we put together a NERC ENVEAST PhD proposal with Dr Todd as PI, and Dr Ruth Airs and Prof, Mock as CoIs. The work is multi-disciplinary as it involves phytoplankton physiology, biogeochemistry, microbiology, biochemistry, molecular genetics, molecular ecology and analytical biology.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Work into oxidation of methanethiol by marine organisms (Hendrik ?Schaefer, Warwick) 
Organisation University of Warwick
Department School of Life Sciences
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution My research team carried out microarray analysis on marine organisms that oxidise methanethiol (MeSH) looking at the catabolism of dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP). These arrays showed that a gene encoding the MeSH oxidase was enhanced at the level of transcription by DMSP. We made transcriptional fusions to the mto gene and confirmed its induction by DMSP. We also isolated its divergently transcribed transcriptional regulator and showed that it controls the DMSP induction of the mto gene. We made a mutation in the mto gene in model marine organisms.
Collaborator Contribution Hendrik ?Schaefer isolated the MeSH oxidase and characterised its biochemical properties at the University of Warwick. He also has used molecular ecological techniques to study the variance of this gene in many environments.
Impact A pre-submission abstract was submitted to nature, but rejected. The project is multi-disciplinary involving, microbial ecology, molecular genetics and biochemistry.
Start Year 2012
 
Description 'DMSP production in marine bacteria and algae: idenitification of novel synthesis genes' research talk at Microbiology Society Annual Conference in Belfast April 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Research talk at Microbiology Society annual conference, presenting a summary of research work in Todd's lab.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description 'Marine Microbial DMSP Synthesis - from genes to microbes to pathways' at GEOMAR in Kiel, Germany in October 2018. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited research presentation at GEOMAR in Kiel Germany, presenting a summary of research work in Todd's lab.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description 'Marine Microbial DMSP Synthesis - from genes to microbes to pathways' at the Marine Microbes GRC 2018, Lucca, Italy, 1-6th July 2018. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited research talk at the Gordon Research Conference Marine Microbes conference, covering all research work from the Todd group.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description 'Surface marine sediments are factories for DMSP and the climate active gas DMS' at the ASM Microbe meeting, June 2019, San Francisco. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited reesearch presnetation at ASM conference in San Francisco, summarising the reseacrh from Todd's lab.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Annual hosting of Nuffield studentships (2012-current). We host an annual Nuffield student 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact As part of the Nuffield Scholarship program I annually hosted a student for a 6 week project within my lab. The details of the students and their projects are detailed below:

-In 2012, I hosted Angeline Maher of Thorpe St Andrew College for a 6 week project that involved the isolation of DMSP catabolising bacteria from marine algae.
-In 2013, I hosted Chris Babey from Wymondham College who characterised the key enzyme in DMSP sythesis in environmental isolates of the macroalga Ulva intestinalis.
-In 2014 I hosted Jenna Louise Hatch for a project involving the isolation and characterisation of microbes catabolising dimetheylsulphide.

The students generated useful data that was incorporated into our on-going research on NERC NERC NE/J01138X/1.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012,2013,2014,2015,2016
 
Description Annual school pupil summer internships (2012-2017) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact To allow potential young scientists and/or science communicators to develop their skills, NERC has funded me to run two complementary 6-week work placements for local 6th form students over the summer vacation, for each year of my NERC grant (NE/J01138X/1). On July 9th 2012, I delivered an outreach talk to the students taking A-level science at East Norfolk Sixth Form College (the college I attended many years ago) and introduced them to the summer projects on offer in my lab. As it transpired, I actually hosted three students from East Norfolk in the Summer of 2012 (Jordan Newton, Daniel Thistlethwaite and Rebecca Smedley). In 2013, I hosted Charlotte Grimmer and Simon Parsons (returned again in the summer of 2014), both from Great Yarmouth College and who are now doing Foundation Science here at UEA this year. In 2015, I hosted Logan Sewell and in 2016, Peter Odogwu, both from East Norfolk Sixth Form College. All the students found the experience extremely useful and gave talks summarising their experiences and findings to their respective colleges.

-Jordan Newton set about designing a lab website for my research group that has been further developed by Ana Bermejo Martinez the research technician on NE/J01138X/1.
-All the visiting students learnt a great deal about microbiology, molecular biology and genetics, dimethylsuphide and dimethylsulponiopropionate generation and catabolism.
-All the visiting students have gone onto biological science degrees at UEA.
-All the visiting students gave talks summarising their experiences to their ye
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012,2013,2014,2015,2016
 
Description Convenor of the biogeochemical cycling and climate session and talking at ISME 2018, Leipzig 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited convenor of the biogeochemical cycling and climate session and presenter of research encompassing all my DMS/P related grants.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Five research talks presented at 6th International symposium on biological and environmental chemistry of DMS(P) and related compounds (or DMSP symposium, for short!), Mon 26th - Fri 30th May 2014, ICM-CSIC, Barcelona 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Invited Oral presentations were given by:
-Dr Todd (PI on NE/J01138X/1)
-Dr Curson (PDRA on NE/J01138X/1)
-Ana Bermejo Martinez (Research technician on NE/J01138X/1)
-Dr Bobbie Lyon (associated with NE/J01138X/1)
-Prof. AWB Johnston (present much of Todd and Curson's work)


-The talks provided a summary of the work carried out on the NERC grant NE/J01138X/1.

-Conversations with Dr Ruth Airs (PML) sparked a collaboration in the production and detection of betaine by model phytoplankton and by natural environments.

-A NERC ENVEAST proposal was born out of conversations with Dr Ruth Airs at PML which was advertised in November 2014.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.dmspsymposium.com/
 
Description Invited Oral presentation at Microbiology Society Annual meeting, April 2017, Edinburgh. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited speaker at the Microbiology Society Annual meeting, April 2017, Edinburgh. Here I presented findings from all my grants related to DMS/P research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Invited oral presentation at the 5th International Symposium on Microbial Sulfur Metabolism, April 2018, Vienna 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited speaker at the 5th International Symposium on Microbial Sulfur Metabolism, April 2018, Vienna. Here I will overview all major outcomes from my grants concerning DMS/P research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Invited presentation at the ASM Microbe meeting, June 2017, New Orleans. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited presentation at the ASM Microbe meeting, June 2017, New Orleans. Here I presented the major outcomes from all my research grants related to DMS/P
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Marine Microbes GRC 2018, Lucca, Italy, 1-6th July 2018. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited presenter at the prodigious Gordon Research Conference on Marine Microbiology.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Oral Presentation at the C1 Symposium, UEA, May 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Dr Jonathan Todd presented a talk entitled 'The making and breaking of DMSP' at the C1 Symposium at UEA in May 2016. This was an international meeting to discuss the latest advances in research on one-carbon compounds.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Oral Presentation at the European Nitrogen Conference at UEA in September 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Dr Jonathan Todd talked about the 'Novel insights into microbial production of dimethylsulfoniopropiontate (DMSP)' at the European Nitrogen Conference at UEA. The talk generated a useful discussion about the latest findings on microbial production of DMSP in relation to nitrogen cycling.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Oral presentation Applied & Environmental Microbiology Gordon Conference (Massachusetts) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Dr. Todd gave the invited oral presentation "Novel insights into microbial production of DMSP and DMS" at the Applied & Environmental Microbiology held in Boston (USA), July 2015.
The talk stimulated conversation with Dr. David Bourne from the Australian Institute of Marine Science, that ultimately led to collaborative work.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://www.grc.org/programs.aspx?id=10899
 
Description Oral presentation MMEG 2014 (Bangor) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Ornella Carrion Fonseca (Senior Research Associate on NERC NE/M004449/1) presented our work on the novel pathway of DMS production independent of DMSP at the Molecular Microbial Ecology Group meeting.
The talk raised an interesting debate about how significant can be the contribution of terrestrial environments to the global DMS emissions compared to marine environments.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://mmeg-2014.bangor.ac.uk/programme.php.en
 
Description Oral presentation at the Ocean University of China (China) 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Dr Todd gave the invited oral presentation "Novel insights into microbial production of DMSP and DMS" at the International Marine Microbiology Conference, Ocean University of China, Qingdao, China, May 2015.
The talk stimulated further collaboration with Professor Zhang from OUC and Professor Yu-Zhong Zhang and from Shandong University.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Oral presentation at the UEA-China Ocean Univeristy joint Conference (UEA), 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Dr Todd talked about the "Novel insights into microbial production of dimethylsulfoniopropiontate (DMSP)" at the UEA-China Ocean University joint Conference.
The talk generated a useful discussion about the last findings on microbial production of DMSP.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Poster at Applied & Environmental Microbiology Gordon Conference (Massachusetts) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Ornella Carrion Fonseca (Senior Research Associate on NERC NE/M004449/1) presented a poster at the Applied & Environmental Gordon Research Conference explaining the novel DMS-producing pathway from MeSH and its importance in terrestrial environments.
The poster session promoted an interesting debate about the methodology that would be used to assess the contribution of this pathway to the global DMS emissions, but also questioned the belief that DMSP is the only significant precursor of DMS.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Poster at the Microbiology Society Annual Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact The activity involved Dr. Carrion presenting her scientific findings from this grant to the participants in the Annual Conference of the Microbiology Society
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Summer Internship 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact The summer students Kasha Sweet and Chloe Wright, both UEA undergraduates, spent eight weeks each in Todd's lab working on projects related to DMSP and DMS production in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. This was funded as part of our outreach components of our NERC grants.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Summer intership 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact The summer students Leanne Sims (UEA) and Heather Mellor (UEA) spent eight weeks each in Todd's lab working on projects related to DMSP and DMS production in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. This were funded as part of our outreach components of our NERC grants.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description UEA press release 'Marine bacteria produce molecule with links to climate' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Press release to highlight our key finding, published in nature microbiology, that reports that marine eukaryotes are not the only significant producers of dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) and that bacteria can also produce this important sulfur molecule. We identify the key gene in this process, representing the first DMSP biosynthesis gene discovered and demonstrate that this gene is present in many marine bacteria and in marine environments.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.uea.ac.uk/about/-/marine-bacteria-produce-an-environmentally-important-molecule-with-lin...
 
Description UEA press release 'Tiny organisms have huge effect on world's atmosphere' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Press release summarising our key Nature Microbiology paper that identified that the most abundant bacteria on the planet, the SAR11 group, produce dimethyl sulfide from the degradation of dimethylsulfoniopropionate.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.uea.ac.uk/about/-/tiny-organisms-have-huge-effect-on-world-s-atmosphere