Steven J Hallam

Steven J Hallam
University of British Columbia - Vancouver | UBC · Department of Microbiology and Immunology

About

293
Publications
72,877
Reads
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13,633
Citations
Citations since 2016
141 Research Items
8694 Citations
201620172018201920202021202202004006008001,0001,2001,400
201620172018201920202021202202004006008001,0001,2001,400
201620172018201920202021202202004006008001,0001,2001,400
201620172018201920202021202202004006008001,0001,2001,400
Additional affiliations
January 2006 - present
University of British Columbia - Vancouver
Position
  • Professor (Associate)

Publications

Publications (293)
Article
Full-text available
Here, we report metagenome-assembled genomes for “ Candidatus Phormidium sp. strain AB48” and three cooccurring microorganisms from a biofilm-forming industrial photobioreactor environment, using the PacBio sequencing platform. Several mobile genetic elements, including a double-stranded DNA phage and plasmids, were also recovered, with the potenti...
Chapter
Metabolic pathway inference from genomic sequence information is an integral scientific problem with wide ranging applications in the life sciences. As sequencing throughput increases, scalable and performative methods for pathway prediction at different levels of genome complexity and completion become compulsory. In this paper, we present reMap (...
Article
Full-text available
Scientific and technological advances within the life sciences have enabled the generation of very large datasets that must be processed, stored, and managed computationally. Researchers increasingly require data science skills to work with these datasets at scale in order to convert information into actionable insights, and undergraduate educators...
Research
50 days of free access to the article: Fractional factorial experimental design for optimizing volatile fatty acids from anaerobic fermentation of municipal sludge: Microbial community and activity investigation
Article
Volatile fatty acids (VFAs) production from municipal sludge is a promising venture for resource recovery while ensuring wastewater treatment plants' ecological and economic sustainability. This study used a fractional factorial design (FFD) and response surface methodology (RSM) to optimize VFAs production from municipal sludge in semi-continuous...
Article
Full-text available
Despite their recognized potential, current applications of cyanobacteria as microbial cell factories remain in early stages of development. This is partly due to the fact that engineered strains are often difficult to grow at scale. This technical challenge contrasts with the dense and highly productive cyanobacteria populations thriving in many n...
Article
This study investigated the effects of two-step activated carbon cloth (CC) on the syntrophic microbial association during anaerobic digestion (AD) of municipal sludge. A simple two-step activation, acid pretreatment (H2SO4/HNO3) followed by air calcination (550 °C), was used to convert commercial untreated CC (U-CC) into high performance activated...
Article
Full-text available
Methane produced by methanogenic archaea has an important influence on Earth’s changing climate. Methanogenic archaea are phylogenetically diverse and widespread in anoxic environments. These microorganisms can be divided into two subgroups based on whether or not they use b-type cytochromes for energy conservation. Methanogens with b-type cytochro...
Article
Full-text available
Microbial communities play integral roles in driving nutrient and energy transformations in the ocean, collectively contributing to fundamental biogeochemical cycles. Although it is well known that these communities are stratified within the water column, there remains limited knowledge of how metabolic pathways are distributed and expressed. Here,...
Article
With growing global use of methanol as a fuel additive and extensive use in other industrial processes, there is the potential for unintended release and spills into soils and aquifers. In these subsurface systems it is likely that methanol will be readily biodegraded; however, degradation may lead to the production of by-products, most importantly...
Article
Full-text available
Extracellular enzyme activity is a well-established parameter for evaluating microbial biogeochemical roles in marine ecosystems. The presence and activity of extracellular enzymes in seawater provide insights into the quality and quantity of organic matter being processed by the present microorganisms. A key challenge in our understanding of these...
Article
Full-text available
Certain members of the Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria are known to degrade polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Here, we describe the first functional PET-active enzymes from the Bacteroidetes phylum. Using a PETase-specific Hidden-Markov-Model- (HMM-) based search algorithm, we identified several PETase candidates from Flavobacteriaceae and Porphy...
Article
Full-text available
Recent studies on marine heat waves describe water temperature anomalies causing changes in food web structure, bloom dynamics, biodiversity loss, and increased plant and animal mortality. However, little information is available on how water temperature anomalies impact prokaryotes (bacteria and archaea) inhabiting ocean waters. This is a nontrivi...
Article
Full-text available
The anaerobic oxidation of methane coupled to sulfate reduction is a microbially mediated process requiring a syntrophic partnership between anaerobic methanotrophic (ANME) archaea and sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB). Based on genome taxonomy, ANME lineages are polyphyletic within the phylum Halobacterota, none of which have been isolated in pure c...
Preprint
Full-text available
The anaerobic oxidation of methane coupled to sulfate reduction is a microbially mediated process requiring a syntrophic partnership between anaerobic methanotrophic (ANME) archaea and sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB). Based on genome taxonomy, ANME lineages are polyphyletic within the phylum Halobacterota, none of which have been isolated in pure c...
Article
Machine learning provides a probabilistic framework for metabolic pathway inference from genomic sequence information at different levels of complexity and completion. However, several challenges, including pathway features engineering, multiple mapping of enzymatic reactions, and emergent or distributed metabolism within populations or communities...
Chapter
Machine learning provides a probabilistic framework for metabolic pathway inference from genomic sequence information at different levels of complexity and completion. However, several challenges including pathway features engineering, multiple mapping of enzymatic reactions and emergent or distributed metabolism within populations or communities o...
Article
Full-text available
Microbial sulfur metabolism contributes to biogeochemical cycling on global scales. Sulfur metabolizing microbes are infected by phages that can encode auxiliary metabolic genes (AMGs) to alter sulfur metabolism within host cells but remain poorly characterized. Here we identified 191 phages derived from twelve environments that encoded 227 AMGs fo...
Article
Full-text available
Changes in the sequence of an organism’s genome, i.e., mutations, are the raw material of evolution. The frequency and location of mutations can be constrained by specific molecular mechanisms, such as diversity-generating retroelements (DGRs). DGRs have been characterized from cultivated bacteria and bacteriophages, and perform error-prone reverse...
Article
Full-text available
The Kwakshua Watersheds Observatory (KWO) is an integrative watersheds observatory on the coastal margin of a rain‐dominated bog‐forest landscape in British Columbia (BC), Canada. Established in 2013, the goal of the KWO is to understand and model the flux of terrestrial materials from land to sea – the origins, pathways, processes, and ecosystem c...
Article
Full-text available
Significance The marine unicellular cyanobacterium Prochlorococcus is the most abundant photosynthetic organism on Earth. Members of this genus are classically thought to be adapted to high-oxygen and nutrient-poor ocean conditions, with a principle divergence between high-light and low-light ecotypes. We show that the most basal Prochlorococcus li...
Preprint
Full-text available
Metabolites, or the small organic molecules that are synthesized by cells during metabolism, comprise a complex and dynamic pool of carbon in the ocean. They are an essential form of information, linking genotype to phenotype at the individual, population and community levels of biological organization. Characterizing metabolite distributions insid...
Article
Full-text available
We live in an increasingly data-driven world, where high-throughput sequencing and mass spectrometry platforms are transforming biology into an information science. This has shifted major challenges in biological research from data generation and processing to interpretation and knowledge translation. However, postsecondary training in bioinformati...
Article
Full-text available
Microbes transform aqueous mercury (Hg) into methylmercury (MeHg), a potent neurotoxin that accumulates in terrestrial and marine food webs, with potential impacts on human health. This process requires the gene pair hgcAB , which encodes for proteins that actuate Hg methylation, and has been well described for anoxic environments. However, recent...
Article
Full-text available
Viruses play an important role in the ecology and biogeochemistry of marine ecosystems. Beyond mortality and gene transfer, viruses can reprogram microbial metabolism during infection by expressing auxiliary metabolic genes (AMGs) involved in photosynthesis, central carbon metabolism, and nutrient cycling. While previous studies have focused on AMG...
Article
Full-text available
Motivation Metabolic pathway reconstruction from genomic sequence information is a key step in predicting regulatory and functional potential of cells at the individual, population and community levels of organization. Although the most common methods for metabolic pathway reconstruction are gene-centric e.g. mapping annotated proteins onto known p...
Article
Full-text available
Metabolic inference from genomic sequence information is a necessary step in determining the capacity of cells to make a living in the world at different levels of biological organization. A common method for determining the metabolic potential encoded in genomes is to map conceptually translated open reading frames onto a database containing known...
Article
Full-text available
Monitoring population dynamics in co-culture is necessary in engineering microbial consortia involved in distributed metabolic processes or biosensing applications. However, it remains difficult to measure strain-specific growth dynamics high-throughput formats. This is especially vexing in plate-based functional screens leveraging whole-cell biose...
Preprint
Full-text available
Machine learning methods show great promise in predicting metabolic pathways at different levels of biological organization. However, several complications remain that can degrade prediction performance including inadequately labeled training data, missing feature information, and inherent imbalances in the distribution of enzymes and pathways with...
Article
Full-text available
Monitoring population dynamics in co-culture is necessary in engineering microbial consortia involved in distributed metabolic processes or biosensing applications. However, it remains difficult to measure strain-specific growth dynamics high-throughput formats. This is especially vexing in plate-based functional screens leveraging whole-cell biose...
Preprint
Full-text available
Microbial sulfur metabolism contributes to biogeochemical cycling on global scales. Sulfur metabolizing microbes are infected by phages that can encode auxiliary metabolic genes (AMGs) to alter sulfur metabolism within host cells but remain poorly characterized. Here we identified 191 phages derived from twelve environments that encoded 227 AMGs fo...
Preprint
Full-text available
We present reMap ( re labeling m ulti-label pathway data based on b a g approach), a simple, and yet, generic framework, that performs relabeling examples to a different set of labels, characterized as bags. A bag is comprised of a subset of correlated pathways, and a pathway is allowed to be mixed over bags, constituting an overlapping pathway ove...
Preprint
Full-text available
Microbial sulfur metabolism contributes to biogeochemical cycling on global scales. Sulfur metabolizing microbes are infected by phages that can encode auxiliary metabolic genes (AMGs) to alter sulfur metabolism within host cells but remain poorly characterized. Here we identified 191 phages derived from twelve environments that encoded 227 AMGs fo...
Article
Full-text available
Motivation: Networks are used to relate topological structure to system dynamics and function, particularly in ecology and systems biology. Network analysis is often guided or complemented by data-driven visualization. Hive plots, one of many network visualizations, distinguish themselves as providing a general, consistent, and coherent rule-based...
Preprint
Full-text available
We live in an increasingly data-driven world, where high-throughput sequencing and mass spectrometry platforms are transforming biology into an information science. This has shifted major challenges in biological research from data generation and processing to interpretation and knowledge translation. However, post-secondary training in bioinformat...
Article
Full-text available
Motivation: Microbial communities drive matter and energy transformations integral to global biogeochemical cycles, yet many taxonomic groups facilitating these processes remain poorly represented in biological sequence databases. Due to this missing information, taxonomic assignment of sequences from environmental genomes remains inaccurate. Res...
Preprint
Microbes transform aqueous mercury (Hg) into methylmercury (MeHg), a potent neurotoxin in terrestrial and marine food webs. This process requires the gene pair hgcAB, which encodes for proteins that actuate Hg methylation, and has been well described for anoxic environments. However, recent studies report potential MeHg formation in suboxic seawate...
Preprint
Full-text available
Machine learning provides a probabilistic framework for metabolic pathway inference from genomic sequence information at different levels of complexity and completion. However, several challenges including pathway features engineering, multiple mapping of enzymatic reactions and emergent or distributed metabolism within populations or communities o...
Preprint
Full-text available
Changes in the sequence of an organism's genome, i.e. mutations, are the raw material of evolution1. The frequency and location of mutations can be constrained by specific molecular mechanisms, such as Diversity-generating retroelements (DGRs). DGRs introduce mutations in specific target genes, and were characterized from several cultivated bacteri...
Preprint
Full-text available
Metabolic pathway reconstruction from genomic sequence information is a key step in predicting regulatory and functional potential of cells at the individual, population and community levels of organization. Although the most common methods for metabolic pathway reconstruction are gene-centric e.g. mapping annotated proteins onto known pathways usi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Metabolic inference from genomic sequence information is a necessary step in determining the capacity of cells to make a living in the world at different levels of biological organization. A common method for determining the metabolic potential encoded in genomes is to map conceptually translated open reading frames onto a database containing known...
Article
Full-text available
Alpha-linked N-acetyl-galactosamine (α-GalNAc) is most notably found at the nonreducing terminus of the blood type–determining A-antigen and as the initial point of attachment to the peptide backbone in mucin-type O-glycans. However, despite their ubiquity in saccharolytic microbe-rich environments such as the human gut, relatively few α-N-acetylga...
Article
Full-text available
Access to efficient enzymes that can convert A and B type red blood cells to ‘universal’ donor O would greatly increase the supply of blood for transfusions. Here we report the functional metagenomic screening of the human gut microbiome for enzymes that can remove the cognate A and B type sugar antigens. Among the genes encoded in our library of 1...
Article
Full-text available
Marine sinking particles transport carbon from the surface and bury it in deep‐sea sediments, where it can be sequestered on geologic time scales. The combination of the surface ocean food web that produces these particles and the particle‐associated microbial community that degrades them creates a complex set of variables that control organic matt...
Article
Full-text available
The generation of new biocatalysts for plant biomass degradation and glycan synthesis has typically relied on the characterization and investigation of one or a few enzymes at a time. By coupling functional metagenomic screening and high-throughput functional characterization, we can progress beyond the current scale of catalyst discovery and provi...
Article
We present 7 years of water column methane (CH4) measurements from Saanich Inlet, a seasonally anoxic fjord in British Columbia, Canada. Our time-series observations show that CH4 concentrations and sea-air fluxes vary significantly over seasonal cycles, driven primarily by changes in O2-availability throughout the water column. Methane concentrati...
Article
Glycoside phosphorylases (GPs) catalyze the reversible phosphorolysis of glycosidic bonds, releasing sugar 1-phosphates. To identify a greater range of these under-appreciated enzymes, we have developed a high-throughput functional screening method based on molybdenum blue formation. In a proof-of-principle screen focused on cellulose-degrading GPs...
Article
Full-text available
Methanogenesis is an ancient metabolism of key ecological relevance, with direct impact on the evolution of Earth’s climate. Recent results suggest that the diversity of methane metabolisms and their derivations have probably been vastly underestimated. Here, by probing thousands of publicly available metagenomes for homologues of methyl-coenzyme M...
Article
Full-text available
The Scientific Committee on Oceanographic Research (SCOR) Working Group 144 Microbial Community Responses to Ocean Deoxygenation workshop held in Vancouver, B.C on July 2014 had the primary objective of initiating a process to standardize operating procedures for compatible process rate and multi-omic (DNA, RNA, protein, and metabolite) data collec...
Article
The construction of large, phylogenomically diverse libraries of synthetic genes from a sequence-based family allows rapid evaluation of the substrate specificity encoded within the gene products and identification of rare catalytic capabilities. For carbohydrate-active enzymes such as glycosidases this opens up approaches to search for enzymes tha...
Article
Full-text available
Marine oxygen minimum zones (OMZs) support 30–50% of global fixed-nitrogen (N) loss but comprise only 7% of total ocean volume. This N-loss is driven by canonical denitrification and anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox), and the distribution and activity of these two processes vary greatly in space and time. Factors that regulate N-loss processes...
Article
Despite some notable progress in data sharing policies and practices, restrictions are still often placed on the open and unconditional use of various genomic data after they have received official approval for release to the public domain or to public databases. These restrictions, which often conflict with the terms and conditions of the funding...
Article
Full-text available
In Table 3 of this Data Descriptor the units of Mean_N2O and Mean_CH4 are incorrectly stated as “Nanomolar (μM)”. This should instead read “Nanomolar (nM)”.