Professor Michi Taga with Petri plate

Research Expertise and Interest

molecular biology, genetics, microbial biology, chemical biology, cofactors, nutrient exchange, microbial communities, bacteria

Research Description

In the natural world, microbes live in communities where individuals rely on one another. The vast majority of microbes cannot produce all of the nutrients they require, and instead depend on other microbes to produce nutrients such as amino acids and vitamins. To study microbial nutritional interactions, the Taga Lab specifically focus on vitamin B12 and B12 analogs, collectively termed corrinoids. Corrinoids are cofactors involved in the biosynthesis of amino acids and DNA, carbon metabolism, and many other metabolic processes. With a focus on corrinoids, the Taga Lab dissects molecular interactions and interdependencies critical to microbial communities. Interestingly, while the majority of microorganisms use corrinoids, only a subset of microbes can produce them. They study the biosynthesis of corrinoids, how bacteria obtain corrinoids from their environment, and the role of corrinoid-based nutritional interactions in microbial community dynamics.

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