- Post-genomics and biotechnology of salt-loving, radiation-tolerant, and cold-adapted extremophiles
- Production of virus-like vaccine nanoparticles and therapeutic proteins
Our research interests include broadly the fields of microbiology, genomics, and biotechnology of Archaea. We utilize model systems to study fundamental processes, such as DNA replication, transcription, and gene regulation, in order to understand the remarkable ability of Archaea to survive in a wide range of environments, from the human microbiome to novel extreme environments. Recent efforts have been directed at developing transcriptomic, CGH, and genetic knockout technology for analysis of genome functions. After leading the genome project on Halobacterium sp. NRC-1, which was published in 2000, our efforts have focused on genes specifying the buoyant gas vesicles and resistance to arsenic, both of which are plasmid-borne. We mapped the replication origins for the large chromosome and megaplasmids, revealing a complex relationship between members of the large eukaryotic-like origin recognition complex (ORC) family and cis-acting genomic regions. Transcriptomic studies have analyzed the consequence of exposure to a variety of environmental perturbations, and together with genetic studies have revealed a novel mechanism of gene regulation using the multiple TBP and TFB transcription factors similar to metazoa. We have also developed bioinformatics tools and databases for genome annotation, comparative genomics, and global gene regulation studies.
Please click the links below to access talks given by Dr. DasSarma: