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Publications (9)38.52 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Dental decay is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases worldwide. A variety of factors, including microbial, genetic, immunological, behavioral and environmental, interact to contribute to dental caries onset and development. Previous studies focused on the microbial basis for dental caries have identified species associated with both dental health and disease. The purpose of the current study was to improve our knowledge of the microbial species involved in dental caries and health by performing a comprehensive 16S rDNA profiling of the dental plaque microbiome of both caries-free and caries-active subjects. Analysis of over 50,000 nearly full-length 16S rDNA clones allowed the identification of 1,372 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) in the dental plaque microbiome. Approximately half of the OTUs were common to both caries-free and caries-active microbiomes and present at similar abundance. The majority of differences in OTU's reflected very low abundance phylotypes. This survey allowed us to define the population structure of the dental plaque microbiome and to identify the microbial signatures associated with dental health and disease. The deep profiling of dental plaque allowed the identification of 87 phylotypes that are over-represented in either caries-free or caries-active subjects. Among these signatures, those associated with dental health outnumbered those associated with dental caries by nearly two-fold. A comparison of this data to other published studies indicate significant heterogeneity in study outcomes and suggest that novel approaches may be required to further define the signatures of dental caries onset and progression.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(3):e58487. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this review we address the subject of dental caries pathogenicity from a genomic and metagenomic perspective. The application of genomic technologies is certain to yield novel insights into the relationship between the bacterial flora, dental health and disease. Three primary attributes of bacterial species are thought to have direct impact on caries development, these include: adherence on tooth surfaces (biofilm formation), acid production and acid tolerance. Attempts to define the specific aetiological agents of dental caries have proven to be elusive, supporting the notion that caries aetiology is perhaps complex and multi-faceted. The recently introduced Human Microbiome Project (HMP) that endeavors to characterise the micro-organisms living in and on the human body is likely to shed new light on these questions and improve our understanding of polymicrobial disease, microbial ecology in the oral cavity and provide new avenues for therapeutic and molecular diagnostics developments.
    International Dental Journal 08/2011; 61 Suppl 1:11-22. · 1.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Here we report the use of a multi-genome DNA microarray to investigate the genome diversity of Bacillus cereus group members and elucidate the events associated with the emergence of Bacillus anthracis the causative agent of anthrax-a lethal zoonotic disease. We initially performed directed genome sequencing of seven diverse B. cereus strains to identify novel sequences encoded in those genomes. The novel genes identified, combined with those publicly available, allowed the design of a "species" DNA microarray. Comparative genomic hybridization analyses of 41 strains indicate that substantial heterogeneity exists with respect to the genes comprising functional role categories. While the acquisition of the plasmid-encoded pathogenicity island (pXO1) and capsule genes (pXO2) represents a crucial landmark dictating the emergence of B. anthracis, the evolution of this species and its close relatives was associated with an overall shift in the fraction of genes devoted to energy metabolism, cellular processes, transport, as well as virulence.
    Genomics 03/2011; 98(1):26-39. · 3.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies have indicated that Arabidopsis thaliana experienced a genome-wide duplication event shortly before its divergence from Brassica followed by extensive chromosomal rearrangements and deletions. While a large number of the duplicated genes have significantly diverged or lost their sister genes, we found 4222 pairs that are still highly conserved, and as a result had similar functional assignments during the annotation of the genome sequence. Using whole-genome DNA microarrays, we identified 906 duplicated gene pairs in which at least one member exhibited a significant response to oxidative stress. Among these, only 117 pairs were up- or down-regulated in both pairs and many of these exhibited dissimilar patterns of expression. Examination of the expression patterns of PAL1 and PAL2, ACD1 and ACD2, genes coding for two Hsp20s, various P450s, and electron transfer flavoproteins suggests Arabidopsis evolved a number of distinct oxidative stress response mechanisms using similar gene sets following the duplication of its genome.
    The Plant Journal 02/2005; 41(2):212-20. · 6.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Natural genetic transformation in Streptococcus pneumoniae is controlled in part by a quorum-sensing system mediated by a peptide pheromone called competence-stimulating peptide (CSP), which acts to coordinate transient activation of genes required for competence. To characterize the transcriptional response and regulatory events occurring when cells are exposed to competence pheromone, we constructed DNA microarrays and analysed the temporal expression profiles of 1817 among the 2129 unique predicted open reading frames present in the S. pneumoniae TIGR4 genome (84%). After CSP stimulation, responsive genes exhibited four temporally distinct expression profiles: early, late and delayed gene induction, and gene repression. At least eight early genes participate in competence regulation including comX, which encodes an alternative sigma factor. Late genes were dependent on ComX for CSP-induced expression, many playing important roles in transformation. Genes in the delayed class (third temporal wave) appear to be stress related. Genes repressed during the CSP response include ribosomal protein loci and other genes involved in protein synthesis. This study increased the number of identified CSP-responsive genes from approximately 40 to 188. Given the relatively large number of induced genes (6% of the genome), it was of interest to determine which genes provide functions essential to transformation. Many of the induced loci were subjected to gene disruption mutagenesis, allowing us to establish that among 124 CSP-inducible genes, 67 were individually dispensable for transformation, whereas 23 were required for transformation.
    Molecular Microbiology 03/2004; 51(4):1051-70. · 4.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The gene predictions and accompanying functional assignments resulting from the sequencing and annotation of a genome represent hypotheses that can be tested and used to develop a more complete understanding of the organism and its biology. In the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, we developed a novel approach to constructing whole-genome microarrays based on PCR amplification of the 3' ends of each predicted gene from genomic DNA, and constructed an array representing more than 94% of the predicted genes and pseudogenes on chromosome 2. With this array, we examined various tissues and physiological conditions, providing expression-based validation for 84% of the gene predictions and providing clues as to the functions of many predicted genes. Further, by examining the distribution of expression along the physical chromosome, we were able to identify a region of repressed transcription that may represent a previously undescribed heterochromatic region.
    Genome Research 04/2003; 13(3):327-40. · 14.40 Impact Factor
  • Molecular Microbiology - MOL MICROBIOL. 01/2003; 51(4):1051-1070.
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    ABSTRACT: In most microarray assays, labeled cDNA molecules derived from reference and query RNA samples are co-hybridized to probes arrayed on a glass surface. Gene expression profiles are then calculated for each gene based on the relative hybridization intensities measured between the two samples. The most commonly used reference samples are typically isolates from a single representative RNA source (RNA-0) or pooled mixtures of RNA derived from a plurality of sources (RNA-p). Genomic DNA offers an alternative reference nucleic acid with a number of potential advantages, including stability, reproducibility, and a potentially uniform representation of all genes, as each unique gene should have equal representation in a haploid genome. Using hydrogen peroxide-treated Arabidopsis thaliana plants as a model, we evaluated genomic DNA and RNA-p as reference samples and compared expression levels inferred through the reference relative to unexposed plants with expression levels measured directly using an RNA-0 reference. Our analysis demonstrates that while genomic DNA can serve as a reasonable reference source for microarray assays, a much greater correlation with direct measurements can be achieved using an RNA-based reference sample.
    BioTechniques 11/2002; 33(4):924-30. · 2.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Microarray expression analysis has become one of the most widely used functional genomics tools. Efficient application of this technique requires the development of robust and reproducible protocols. We have optimized all aspects of the process, including PCR amplification of target cDNA clones, microarray printing, probe labeling and hybridization, and have developed strategies for data normalization and analysis.
    BioTechniques 10/2000; 29(3):548-50, 552-4, 556 passim. · 2.40 Impact Factor