Bacteria make DMSP - how significant is this process?

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

Abstract

Globally, a billion tons of the sulfur-containing molecule dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) is made each year. The common belief was that DMSP is only made by marine eukaryotes, including phytoplankton, seaweeds, a few plants and some corals, but our preliminary work shows that marine bacteria also make DMSP, and at levels similar to those reported for some phytoplankton. For the first time, we have shown that marine bacteria likely use DMSP as an osmoprotectant to buffer cells against the salinity of seawater. The research that we propose will redefine the field of DMSP production and its catabolism.

DMSP is the main precursor of the environmentally important gas dimethylsulfide (DMS). Microbial DMSP lysis generates ~300 million tons of DMS per annum. Much of this DMS is used by bacteria, but ~10 % is released from the seas into the air, giving the seaside its characteristic smell. Once in the atmosphere, chemical products arising from DMS oxidation aid cloud formation over the oceans, to an extent that affects 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. DMS is also a potent chemoattractant for many organisms including seabirds, crustaceans and marine mammals, which associate DMS with food.

Although previous studies have described the pathways for DMSP synthesis, remarkably NONE of the enzymes or corresponding genes have been identified in ANY DMSP-producing organism.

Our preliminary data:
1. show that some marine bacteria make DMSP via the same pathway used by phytoplankton.
2. identified the key gene in bacterial DMSP production "mmtB" - the first gene shown to be involved in DMSP synthesis in any organism.
3. show that our model marine bacterium Labrenzia likely makes DMSP as an osmoprotectant.
4. show that bacteria containing mmtB produce DMSP, and some also contain DMSP lyase genes whose products liberate DMS from DMSP.
5. show that the mmtB gene is abundant in marine environments.

Our project:
The mmtB gene encodes an enzyme that catalyses one of the four predicted steps in DMSP synthesis, but we do not know the identity the other three genes. To fully understand the process of DMSP synthesis in bacteria, we need to identify the missing synthesis genes so that we can study their regulation and enzymology. We will use complementary molecular genetic approaches to identify the unknown DMSP synthesis genes and, in the process, characterise the full complement of genes whose expression is affected by salinity in Labrenzia.
To understand how and why bacteria in the environment produce DMSP and DMS, we will study key model bacteria isolated from marine samples. These bacteria will be grown in microcosms under conditions similar to those of their natural habitat, and their environmental growth conditions will be varied whilst monitoring DMS and DMSP synthesis, at both the process and gene expression level. This will indicate whether environmental factors such as temperature, oxidative stress, etc., affect the production of DMSP and concomitantly the production of the climate-active gas DMS.

The importance of bacterial DMSP production in marine environments will be examined. We will sample selected marine environments and investigate the activity of bacterial DMSP synthesis compared to eukaryotic DMS/DMSP pathways. We will determine if the environmental factors that regulate DMS/DMSP production in our model bacteria have the same effect on natural microbial communities that are present in important marine environments. We will also use a powerful suite of microbial ecology techniques, combined with molecular genetic tools, to identify the microbes and key genes involved in producing DMSP via the MmtB enzyme in these environments. This work will help us in the future to model how changes in the environment impact on the balance of these climate processes.

Planned Impact

Our unpublished studies show for the first time that marine bacteria can produce dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP), and that these bacteria also lyse DMSP, generating the climate-cooling gas dimethyl sulfide (DMS). We have also identified the first gene involved in DMSP synthesis in any organism. This project is driven by the need to gain a mechanistic understanding of these microbial pathways, the biodiversity of microbes carrying out these processes and environmental stimuli that regulate DMS/DMSP production. Our work will provide essential data for future modelling of DMS emissions from marine environments. As summarised in Academic Beneficiaries, we feel that this work will be of great 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 natural environments that are sensitive to environmental change. The extensive biodatabases and resources that we generate from the natural study sites will be invaluable and 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. Therefore, the metagenomic data and data on the distribution and diversity of genes involved in DMS/DMSP 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 microbial genomes and may shed light on microorganisms with the capacity to synthesise DMSP.

Research on biological DMS/DMSP production is well-represented in recent high impact journal publications and has been 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). In this report, the editor specifically highlighted the phrase "It is astonishing that we still do not know of a single gene for DMSP synthesis", clearly emphasising the potential impact of our work. Thus, we are confident that this project will be of interest to a wide scientific audience. We will continue to disseminate our findings in the best international peer-reviewed journals, 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 Pathways 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, 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 Pathways 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 will involve several local primary and secondary schools near UEA. We will also host visits of 6th Form level students in our labs and continue our outreach work to schoolchildren in the Norfolk area through visits, talks and student projects. The posting of material outlining our work on our website will allow us to reach a wider audience that we cannot reach via the above "local" proposals.

We do not envisage any immediate commercial or policy outputs from the work. However, as part of our impact plan, we will explore the potential of our DMSP-producing bacteria as sources for the production of DMSP catabolites that are high value chemicals. This will involve interactions with chemists (Page at UEA) and Industry (e.g. DuPontTM).

Publications

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Johnston AW (2016) Enzymatic breakage of dimethylsulfoniopropionate-a signature molecule for life at sea. in Current opinion in chemical biology

 
Description We have discovered that marine eukaryotic phytoplankton are not the only significant producers of the anti-stress compound dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP), a hugely abundant sulfur molecule with important roles in the global sulfur cycle, marine food webs and potentially climate. We show that marine heterotrophic bacteria, which have no dependence on light for photosynthesis, also produce DMSP, and these bacteria use the same pathway as most phytoplankton for the synthesis of this environmentally important sulfur molecule. Within these bacteria, we have identified the first DMSP biosynthesis gene, termed dsyB, in any organism. The dsyB gene and the production of DMSP is widespread in marine bacteria and in marine environments. These findings show that marine heterotrophic bacteria play a key role in the synthesis of this environmentally influential molecule and that the process is likely more widespread in marine environments because these organisms do not depend on light for growth. Following on from this work, we have also identified homologues of the dsyB gene in eukaryotic phytoplankton and these are termed DSYB. The DSYB in phytoplankton encodes the same step in DMSP synthesis as dsyB in bacteria and is found in many members of the major groups of DMSP-producing phytoplankton. We have also localised the DSYB protein and DMSP itself to specific parts of the phytoplankton cell to give insights into the potential function of DMSP in these organisms. By using the bacterial dsyB and the eukaryotic DSYB gene sequences as genetic probes, we have been able to predict the abundance and expression of these genes in the marine environment. Also we have conducted culture-dependent and -independent work to characterise bacterial DMSP production in marine sediments (focusing on Stiffkey Saltmarsh) and various seawater samples.
Exploitation Route The discovery of the first bacterial dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) synthesis gene, dsyB, will allow other scientists to use it as a probe for DMSP synthesis in bacterial genomes and in marine environmental samples. This finding also means that biogeochemical modellers will have to reassess their predictions for global DMSP/dimethyl sulfide (DMS) production since our findings significantly change the perception of the organisms that produce DMSP. No longer can DMSP production solely be associated with the photic zones of marine environments because it is no longer only thought to occur in photosynthetic organisms. Our more recent work, which has identified the eukaryotic version of the dsyB gene, termed DSYB, can be used by others in a similar way to that described above for dsyB, as a probe for DMSP synthesis in genomes or environmental metagenomes and to get improved estimates/models of global DMSP production.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Environment

 
Description Provided preliminary data for the NERC grant NE/P012671/1 "A multidisciplinary study of DMSP production and lysis - from enzymes to organisms to process modelling."
Amount £799,591 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/P012671/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2017 
End 01/2020
 
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 '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 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 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 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 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