Patricia A Sobecky

Patricia A Sobecky
University of Alabama | UA · Department of Biological Sciences

PhD

About

242
Publications
10,534
Reads
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3,265
Citations
Additional affiliations
August 1997 - August 2009
Georgia Institute of Technology
Position
  • Professor (Associate)

Publications

Publications (242)
Article
Full-text available
Coastal salt marshes provide valuable ecosystem services but are subjected to multiple concomitant stressors that may impact their ability to provide those services. Global climate change has led to the poleward expansion of mangroves into salt marshes on each continent where mangroves and marshes co-occur. In the northern Gulf of Mexico, warming w...
Article
Full-text available
Coastal marshes provide valuable ecosystem services including the removal of excess nitrogen (N) prior to reaching coastal waters. Crude oil contamination can disrupt N cycling processes, and while the impacts of crude oil on marsh structure and function are well studied, less is known about the effects of different oil components. The objective of...
Article
Full-text available
Marine oil spills are catastrophic events that cause massive damage to ecosystems at all trophic levels. While most of the research has focused on carbon‐degrading microorganisms, the potential impacts of hydrocarbons on microbes responsible for nitrification have received far less attention. Nitrifiers are sensitive to hydrocarbon toxicity: ammoni...
Chapter
Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in prokaryotic lineages is an evolutionary, dynamic mechanism known to promote adaptation to novel habitats by acquisition of genes and alteration of the genetic composition of an organism. The inherent complexity of the microbial species concept exists due to the difficulty involved in quantifying HGT events that res...
Article
Full-text available
Salt marshes play a key role in removing excess anthropogenic nitrogen (N) loads to nearshore marine ecosystems through sediment microbial processes such as denitrification. However, in the Gulf of Mexico the loss of marsh vegetation due to human-driven disturbances such as sea level rise and oil spills can potentially reduce marsh capacity for N r...
Article
The bioreduction of uranium may immobilize a significant fraction of this toxic contaminant in reduced environments at circumneutral pH. In oxic and low pH environments, however, the low solubility of U(VI)-phosphate minerals also makes them good candidates for the immobilization of U(VI) in the solid phase. As inorganic phosphate is generally scar...
Article
The simulation of Cr(VI) behavior in an unsaturated zone and aquifer, using a 3D experimental set-up were performed to illustrate the distribution, transport and transformation of Cr(VI), and further to reveal the potential harm of Cr(VI) after entering the groundwater. The result indicated that chromium(VI) was transported in the vertical directio...
Article
We investigated different types of biostimulation practices to enhance degradation of weathered conventional diesel fuel in sandy beach sediments from coastal Alabama. Biodegradation rates were measured following the addition of either inorganic nutrients, or organic matter derived from either plant material (Spartina alterniflora) or fish tissue (...
Article
Full-text available
Vibrio parahaemolyticus is an aquatic halophilic bacterium that occupies estuarine and coastal marine environments, and is a leading cause of seafood-borne food poisoning cases. To investigate the environmental reservoir and potential gene flow that occurs among V. parahaemolyticus isolates, the virulence-associated gene content and genome diversit...
Article
Full-text available
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the northern Gulf of Mexico represents the largest marine accidental oil spill in history. It is distinguished from past spills in that it occurred at the greatest depth (1,500 m), the amount of hydrocarbon gas (mostly methane) lost was equivalent to the mass of crude oil released, and dispersants were used for th...
Article
Full-text available
Worldwide industrialization activities create vast amounts of organic and inorganic waste streams that frequently result in significant soil and groundwater contamination. Metals and radionuclides are of particular concern due to their mobility and long-term persistence in aquatic and terrestrial environments. As the global population increases, th...
Article
Full-text available
Background Radionuclide- and heavy metal-contaminated subsurface sediments remain a legacy of Cold War nuclear weapons research and recent nuclear power plant failures. Within such contaminated sediments, remediation activities are necessary to mitigate groundwater contamination. A promising approach makes use of extant microbial communities capabl...
Article
Full-text available
Coastal salt marshes are highly sensitive wetland ecosystems that can sustain long-term impacts from anthropogenic events such as oil spills. In this study, we examined the microbial communities of a Gulf of Mexico coastal salt marsh during and after the influx of petroleum hydrocarbons following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Total hydrocarbon c...
Article
The rates of crude oil degradation by the extant microorganisms in intertidal sediments from a northern Gulf of Mexico beach were determined. The enhancement in crude oil degradation by amending the microbial communities with marine organic matter was also examined. Replicate mesocosm treatments consisted of: (i) controls (intertidal sand), (ii) sa...
Data
Functional gene normalized signal intensities detected by GeoChip. (XLSX)
Data
Total number of bacterial OTUs detected by PhyloChip in Inlet and Marsh sediments in all phyla. (PDF)
Data
Total bacterial OTUs detected by PhyloChip for all samples. Positive fraction and normalized fluorescence intensity values are reported. (XLSX)
Article
The biotransformation of n-tetradecylbenzyldimethylammonium chloride (C(14)BDMA-Cl), a quaternary ammonium compound (QAC), under aerobic conditions by an enriched microbial community growing on benzalkonium chlorides (BACs) was investigated. Biotransformation of C(14)BDMA-Cl commenced with cleavage of the C(alkyl)-N bond and formation of benzyldime...
Article
Full-text available
Following the Deepwater Horizon explosion and crude oil contamination of a marsh ecosystem in AL in June 2010, hydrocarbon-degrader microbial abundances of aerobic alkane, total hydrocarbon, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) degraders were enumerated seasonally. Surface sediment samples were collected in October and December of 2010 and in...
Article
Full-text available
Rahnella aquatilis CIP 78.65 is a gammaproteobacterium isolated from a drinking water source in Lille, France. Here we report the complete genome sequence of Rahnella aquatilis CIP 78.65, the type strain of R. aquatilis.
Article
In the present study, microbial community responses to exposure to unweathered Macondo Well crude oil and conventional diesel in a sandy beach environment were determined. Biodegradation was assessed in mesocosm experiments with differing fuel amounts (2,000 and 4,000 mg/kg) and with or without inorganic nutrient amendment. Carbon dioxide productio...
Article
Full-text available
Rahnella sp. strain Y9602 is a gammaproteobacterium isolated from contaminated subsurface soils that is capable of promoting uranium phosphate mineralization as a result of constitutive phosphatase activity. Here we report the first complete genome sequence of an isolate belonging to the genus Rahnella.
Article
Positron emission tomography (PET) provides spatiotemporal monitoring in a nondestructive manner and has higher sensitivity and resolution relative to other tomographic methods. Therefore, this technology was evaluated for its application to monitor in situ subsurface bacterial activity. To date, however, it has not been used to monitor or image so...
Data
URL -- http://www.jgi.doe.gov JGI Project ID: 4089211 Source DNA and organism available from Robert Martinez (rmartinez@bama.ua.edu) Contacts: Robert Martinez (rmartinez@bama.ua.edu) Tanja Woyke (microbe@cuba.jgi-psf.org) Annotation done by JGI-ORNL and JGI-PGF Finishing done by JGI-LANL The JGI and collaborators endorse the principles for the dist...
Article
Soils and groundwater contaminated with heavy metals and radionuclides remain a legacy of Cold War nuclear weapons development. Due to the scale of environmental contamination, in situ sequestration of heavy metals and radionuclides remain the most cost-effective strategy for remediation. We are currently investigating a remediation approach that u...
Article
The biomineralization of U(VI) phosphate as a result of microbial phosphatase activity is a promising new bioremediation approach to immobilize uranium in both aerobic and anaerobic conditions. In contrast to reduced uranium minerals such as uraninite, uranium phosphate precipitates are not susceptible to changes in oxidation conditions and may rep...
Article
An increase in the frequency of seafood-borne gastroenteritis in humans and Vibrio-related disease of fish and invertebrates has generated interest in the ecology of disease-causing Vibrios and the mechanisms driving their evolution. Genome sequencing studies have indicated a substantial contribution of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) to the evoluti...
Article
The remediation of uranium from soils and groundwater at Department of Energy (DOE) sites across the United States represents a major environmental issue, and bioremediation has exhibited great potential as a strategy to immobilize U in the subsurface. The bioreduction of U(VI) to insoluble U(IV) uraninite has been proposed to be an effective biore...
Article
Full-text available
Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a pathogenic marine bacterium that is the main causative agent of bacterial seafood-borne gastroenteritis in the United States. An increase in the frequency of V. parahaemolyticus-related infections during the last decade has been attributed to the emergence of an O3:K6 pandemic clone in 1995. The diversity of the O3:K6 p...
Article
This study describes the fouling of concrete surfaces by diverse fungal genera under controlled laboratory conditions. A circulating flow-through chamber was designed for testing the effects of different concrete compositions and exogenously added nutrients on fungal colonization and fouling. Fungal strains belonging to the genera Alternaria, Clado...
Article
Inactivation of mismatch repair (MMR) has been shown to increase the accumulation of spontaneous mutations and frequency of recombination for diverse pathogenic bacteria. Currently, little is known regarding the role of mutator phenotypes for the diversification of natural populations of opportunistic human pathogens in marine environments. In this...
Article
The pool of mobile genetic elements (MGE) in microbial communities consists of viruses, plasmids, and associated elements (insertion sequences, transposons, and integrons) that are either self-transmissible or use mobile plasmids and viruses as vehicles for their dissemination. This mobilome facilitates the horizontal transfer of genes that promote...
Article
The horizontal transfer of genes encoded on mobile genetic elements (MGEs) such as plasmids and phage and their associated hitchhiking elements (transposons, integrons, integrative and conjugative elements, and insertion sequences) rapidly accelerate genome diversification of microorganisms, thereby affecting their physiology, metabolism, pathogeni...
Article
This study reports the use of culture-independent and culture-dependent approaches to identify naturally occurring communities of Bacteria and Fungi fouling the surfaces of concrete structures with and without an acrylic paint coating in Georgia, USA. Genomic DNA was extracted from four different sites and PCR amplification of bacterial ribosomal R...
Article
In this study, the immobilization of toxic uranium [U(VI)] mediated by the intrinsic phosphatase activities of naturally occurring bacteria isolated from contaminated subsurface soils was examined. The phosphatase phenotypes of strains belonging to the genera, Arthrobacter, Bacillus and Rahnella, previously isolated from subsurface soils at the US...
Article
Full-text available
The horizontal transfer of genes by mobile genetic elements such as plasmids and phages can accelerate genome diversification of Vibrio spp., affecting their physiology, pathogenicity, and ecological character. In this study, sequence analysis of three plasmids from Vibrio spp. previously isolated from salt marsh sediment revealed the remarkable di...
Article
Full-text available
A Vibrio parahaemolyticus strain isolated from the rhizosphere of the ecosystem dominant estuarine grass, Spartina alterniflora, was characterized and shown to carry nifH, the gene encoding the nitrogenase iron protein, and to fix N(2). Nitrogen fixation may contribute substantially to the adaptability, niche breadth, and ecological significance of...
Article
Full-text available
Deep drilling of marine sediments and igneous crust offers a unique opportunity to explore how life persists and evolves in the Earth’s deepest subsurface ecosystems. Resource availability deep beneath the seafloor may impose constraints on microbial growth and dispersal patterns that differ greatly from those in the surface world. Processes that m...
Article
Uranium contamination is an environmental concern at the Department of Energy's Field Research Center in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. In this study, we investigated whether phosphate biomineralization, or the aerobic precipitation of U(VI)-phosphate phases facilitated by the enzymatic activities of microorganisms, offers an alternative to the more extensi...
Article
Exploring Subseafloor Life With the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 3-5 October 2006 Deep drilling of marine sediments and oceanic crust offers a unique opportunity to explore how life persists and evolves in the Earth's deepest subsurface ecosystems. Resource availability deep beneath the seafloor may impose...
Article
Full-text available
The overall goal of this project is to examine the role of nonspecific phosphohydrolases present in naturally occurring subsurface microorganisms for the purpose of promoting the immobilization of radionuclides through the production of uranium [U(VI)] phosphate precipitates. Specifically, we hypothesize that the precipitation of U(VI) phosphate mi...
Article
This project researched the fungal and bacterial communities (i.e. biofilms) found on concrete infrastructure in Georgia. Various microbial communities were sampled from four geographically separated sites. The species present in these biofilms were identified through DNA analysis and cultured for testing. A new, rapid test method was developed to...
Article
Microbes are known to affect ecosystems and communities as decomposers, pathogens, and mutualists. However, they also may function as classic consumers and competitors with animals if they chemically deter larger consumers from using rich food-falls such as carrion, fruits, and seeds that can represent critical windfalls to both microbes and animal...
Article
In this study, ribosomes and genomic DNA were extracted from three sediment depths (0-2, 6-8 and 10-12 cm) to determine the vertical changes in the microbial community composition and identify metabolically active microbial populations in sediments obtained from an active seafloor mud volcano site in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Domain-specific Bac...
Article
Full-text available
Aerobic heterotrophs were isolated from subsurface soil samples obtained from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Field Research Center (FRC) located at Oak Ridge, Tenn. The FRC represents a unique, extreme environment consisting of highly acidic soils with cooccurring heavy metals, radionuclides, and high nitrate concentrations. Four hundred iso...
Article
To better understand plasmid distribution, diversity and abundance in marine sediment microbial communities we developed a number of methodological approaches to advance the field during this project. A new approach to facilitate the rapid comparison and differentiation of marine plasmids was developed using a randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RA...
Conference Paper
Following the hurricane Katrina and subsequent flooding in New Orleans, samples of the floodwater were collected from several isolated sites in and around the city. We investigated the diversity of culturable sulfate reducing bacteria in these unique environmental samples. For isolation, enrichments were set up at 30oC in the dark using lactate (60...