Arpita Bose

Associate Professor of Biology
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    • Washington University
    • CB 1137
    • One Brookings Drive
    • St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
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    ​Arpita Bose's lab studies microbial metabolisms and their influence on biogeochemical cycling using an interdisciplinary approach. She seeks to generate new ways of addressing issues such as the energy crisis, pollution, biofouling, and sustainability.

    "First things first — this is a microbial world"

    This statement is absolutely correct in so many ways. The fact that our bodies have way more microbial cells than human cells might hit home the most. Microbes existed way before our ancestors appeared on this planet. They can perform many interesting microbial metabolisms.

    These microbial capabilities might appear strange and exotic to us mostly because we think of our planet as being the same as it is now. But our planet is always evolving; it has seen things that we can't imagine. Our planet's oldest friends are microbes and they have co-evolved. On today's Earth we see sneak peeks of this ancient and ongoing friendship in places that resemble its older forms such as in Yellowstone National Park (see left Mammoth Hot Springs with thick microbial mats, Summer 2014). Using geochemical & molecular tools along with -omic information we are starting to predict how microbes are shaping our planet today, and also shedding light on what they might have been doing in the past.

    Why is it important to acquire this knowledge? Microbes drive the engines that move important elements around the Earth. Thus, understanding how microbes continue to shape this planet helps us prepare for changes that are similar to the ones that the Earth has already experienced. Also, microbial capabilities discovered and understood along the way will provide new ideas to address issues such as the energy crisis, pollution, biofouling, and sustainability.


    recent courses

    Fundamentals of Microbiology

    This four - credit lecture course focuses on the molecular biology of bacteria, archaea, and viruses. Topics include: the bacterial cell cycle, gene regulation, stress response, cell-cell communication, viral and bacterial pathogenesis, microbial ecology, and metabolic diversity. Friday tutorials stress analysis of the primary literature with an emphasis on current research related to material covered in lecture.

      Experimental Design and Analysis in Biological Research

      In-depth exploration of landmark and current papers in genetics, molecular and cell biology, with an emphasis on prokaryotes and eukaryotic microbes. Class discussions will center on such key discoveries as the chemical nature of genetic material, the genetic code, oxygen producing light-spectrum, cell-cell signaling, transcriptional regulation, the random nature of mutation, and cell cycle regulation. Emphasis will be placed on what makes a good question or hypothesis, expedient ways to address scientific problems, and creative thinking. The last third of the course will consist of student-run seminars on selected topics to increase proficiency in the synthesis of new material and public presentation skills.

        Selected Publications

        Bose A, Gardel EJ, Vidoudez C, Parra EA, Girguis PR (2014). Electron uptake by iron oxidizing phototrophic bacteria. Nat. Commun. 5, Article number:3391. Featured in Science Daily, EurekAlert and various news articles & blogs. Contact me to get PDF for personal use only. 

        Bose A, Rogers DR, Adams MM, Joye SB, Girguis PR (2013). Geomicrobiological linkages between short-chain alkane consumption and sulfate reduction rates in seep sediments. Front. Microbiol. 4:386. Featured in The Gulf of Mexico Research InitiativeOpen access

        Adams, MM, Hoarfrost AL, Bose A, Joye SB, Girguis PR (2013). Anaerobic oxidation of short-chain alkanes in hydrothermal sediment: influences on sulfur cycling and microbial diversity. Front. Microbiol. 4:110. Open access.

        Bose A, Newman, DK. (2011) Regulation of the phototrophic iron oxidation (pio) genes in Rhodopseudomonas palustris TIE-1 is mediated by the global regulator, FixK. Mol Microbiol. 79(1):63-75. Open access.

        Bose A, Kopf S, Newman, DK. (2010) From geocycles to genomes and back. In Stolz JF and Oremland, RS (ed.), Microbial metal and metalloid metabolism. ASM press, Washington, D.C. Featured in Microbe (2012) 7(5):246-247. Available at ASM Press.  

        Bose A, Kulkarni G, Metcalf WW. (2009) Regulation of putative methyl-sulfide methyltransferases in Methanosarcina acetivorans C2A. Mol Microbiol. 74(1):227-38. Open access.

        Opulencia RO, Bose A, Metcalf WW. (2009) Physiology and post-transcriptional regulation of methanol:coenzyme M methyltransferase isozymes in Methanosarcina acetivorans C2A. J Bacteriol. 191(22):6928-35. Open access.

        Bose A. Genetic and biochemical analysis of methyltransferase gene regulation in Methanosarcina acetivorans C2A. PhD Thesis,University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Available at Proquest LLC.

        Bose A, Pritchett MA, Metcalf WW (2008) Genetic analysis of the methanol specific methyltransferase 2 genes of Methanosarcina acetivorans C2A. J Bacteriol. 190(11):4017-26. Open access

        Bose A, Metcalf WW (2008). Distinct regulators control the expression of methanol methyltransferase isozymes in Methanosarcina acetivorans C2A. Mol Microbiol. 67(3):649–61. Open access.

        Bose A, Pritchett MA, Rother M, Metcalf WW.(2006) Differential regulation of the three methanol methyltransferase isozymes in Methanosarcina acetivorans C2A. J Bacteriol. 88(20):7274-83. Open access.

        Bose A, Sharma D, Shakila H, Das TK, TyagiJS, Ramanathan VD. (2006) Expression of mycobacterial cell division protein, FtsZ, and dormancy proteins, DevR and Acr, within lung granulomas throughout guinea pig infection. FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 48(3):329-36. Open access.

        Rother M, Boccazzi P, Bose A, Pritchett MA, Metcalf WW.(2005) Methanol-dependent gene expression demonstrates that methyl-coenzyme M reductase is essential in Methanosarcina acetivorans C2A and allows isolation of mutants with defects in regulation of the methanol utilization pathway. J Bacteriol. 187(16):5552-59. Open access.