Katherine E. Gibson, PhD

University Of Massachusetts - Boston

University Of Massachusetts - Boston
Phone: (617) 287-6614
Fax: (617) 287-6650


Katherine.Gibson@umb.edu

Katherine E. Gibson, PhD

University Of Massachusetts - Boston

EDUCATIONAL TITLES

  • Assistant Professor, Biology, University Of Massachusetts - Boston

DF/HCC PROGRAM AFFILIATION

Research Abstract

My lab addresses the process of bacterial cell cycle progression and its modification in response to a variety of cues. As a model system, we study the Gram-negative bacterium Sinorhizobium meliloti, which establishes a nitrogen-fixing symbiosis within the roots of leguminous plants. S. meliloti gain entry to host tissues, are endocytosed, and then establish a persistent infection within the host cell cytoplasm where they differentiate into a morphologically distinct æ¾±acteroidform uniquely capable of nitrogen fixation. One remarkable aspect of bacteroid differentiation is a filamentous cell morphology that is accompanied by several rounds of genomic endoreduplication. This is a particularly striking observation given that S. meliloti appears to strictly limit the initiation of DNA replication to once per cell cycle during free-living growth. My lab is interested in determining the molecular events that underlie the choice cells make during exit from S-phase as they transition into either G2-phase (during free-living growth), back to G1-phase (during bacteroid endoreduplication) or into G0-phase as they finally exit the cell cycle during terminal bacteroid differentiation. To this end, my lab is characterizing several components of the cell cycle regulatory pathway whose function is also required for symbiosis.

Publications

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  • Sadowski CS, Wilson D, Schallies KB, Walker G, Gibson KE. The Sinorhizobium meliloti sensor histidine kinase CbrA contributes to free-living cell cycle regulation. Microbiology 2013; 159:1552-63. PubMed
  • Gibson KE, Barnett MJ, Toman CJ, Long SR, Walker GC. The symbiosis regulator CbrA modulates a complex regulatory network affecting the flagellar apparatus and cell envelope proteins. J Bacteriol 2007; 189:3591-602. PubMed
  • Gibson KE, Campbell GR, Lloret J, Walker GC. CbrA is a stationary-phase regulator of cell surface physiology and legume symbiosis in Sinorhizobium meliloti. J Bacteriol 2006; 188:4508-21. PubMed
  • Gibson KE, Silhavy TJ. SprE levels are growth phase regulated in a sigma(S)-dependent manner at the level of translation. J Bacteriol 2000; 182:4117-20. PubMed
  • Gibson KE, Silhavy TJ. The LysR homolog LrhA promotes RpoS degradation by modulating activity of the response regulator sprE. J Bacteriol 1999; 181:563-71. PubMed
  • Pratt LA, Hsing W, Gibson KE, Silhavy TJ. From acids to osmZ: multiple factors influence synthesis of the OmpF and OmpC porins in Escherichia coli. Mol Microbiol 1996; 20:911-7. PubMed