Dmitri V. Mavrodi

Assistant Professor

Teaching Interests:
BSC 110/111LH – Phage Hunters. A Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)-sponsored lab course that provides an authentic genomics research experience for undergraduates
BSC 477/577 – Microbial genetics with lab
BSC 488/588 – Food microbiology with lab
BSC 489/589 – Environmental microbiology with lab

Current graduate students

Research interests:

I am a molecular microbiologist who is interested in the ecology of antibiotic-producing and plant-associated bacteria. The first line of my research is focused on the functional role of natural antibiotics. It has long been assumed that the primary function of these metabolites is to directly suppress competitors and yield a survival advantage to the producing bacteria in highly competitive natural and man-made environments. Recent studies suggest that antibiotics may promote virulence, protect bacteria from predation by protozoa, and act as molecular signals that regulate colony morphology and biofilm formation. However, most of these functions have been studied only under lab conditions and in a handful of bacterial strains. I use molecular techniques to better understand the ecological role of antibiotics in both pathogenic and beneficial bacteria in the context of microbial communities. The second line of my research is focused on beneficial plant root colonizing (rhizosphere) bacteria. These microorganisms play an important role in nature by protecting wild and crop plants from soilborne pathogens. They also stimulate nutrient uptake and organ development thus enhancing the ability of plants to resist abiotic stress factors. We have sequenced the genomes of several species of rhizosphere Pseudomonas bacteria. We plan to use tools of molecular genetics, functional genomics, and bioinformatics to identify cellular pathways and physiological responses that allow these beneficial rhizobacteria to maintain tight mutualistic interactions with the host plant under the conditions of environmental stress.

 Selected recent publications:

Amato DN, Amato DV, Mavrodi OV, Braasch DA, Walley SE, Douglas JR, Mavrodi DV, and Patton DL (2016) Destruction of opportunistic pathogens with plant-based antimicrobial payloads: one-pot synthesis of carvacrol- and thymol-loaded polymer nanoparticles via thiol-ene miniemulsion photopolymerization. Advanced Healthcare Materials 5: 1094-1103

Mavrodi DV, Mavrodi OV, De La Fuente L, Landa BB, Thomashow LS and Weller DM. Management of plant pathogens and pests using microbial biological control agents. pp 425–440. In: BH Ownley and RN Trigiano (eds). Plant Pathology Concepts and Laboratory Exercises, 3rd ed. CRC Press (Taylor & Francis), USA, 2016

Mavrodi DV, Parejko JA, Mavrodi OV, Kwak Y-S, Weller DM, Blankenfeldt W, and Thomashow LS (2013) Recent insights into the diversity, frequency and ecological roles of phenazines in fluorescent Pseudomonas spp. Environ Microbiol 15: 675-686

Mavrodi DV, Mavrodi OV, Parejko JA, Bonsall RF, Kwak Y-S, Paulitz TC, Thomashow LS, and Weller DM (2012) Accumulation of the antibiotic phenazine-1-carboxylic acid in the rhizosphere of dryland cereals. Appl Environ Microbiol 78: 804-812

Loper JE, Hassan KA, Mavrodi DV, Davis EW, Lim CK, et al. (2012) Comparative genomics of plant-associated Pseudomonas spp: insights into diversity and inheritance of traits involved in multitrophic interactions. PLoS Genetics 8: e1002784

Parejko JA, Mavrodi DV, Mavrodi OV, Weller DM, and Thomashow LS (2012) Population structure and diversity of phenazine-1-carboxylic acid producing fluorescent Pseudomonas spp. from dryland cereal fields of central Washington State (USA). Microbial Ecol 64: 226-241

Mavrodi DV, Joe A, Mavrodi OV, Hassan KA, Weller DM, Paulsen IT, Loper JE, Alfano JR, and Thomashow LS (2011) Structural and functional analysis of the type III secretion system from Pseudomonas fluorescens Q8r1-96. J Bacteriol 193: 177–189

Mavrodi DV, Peever TL, Mavrodi OV, Parejko JA, Raaijmakers JM, Lemanceau P, Mazurier S, Heide L, Blankenfeldt W, Weller DM, and Thomashow LS (2010) Diversity and evolution of the phenazine biosynthesis pathway. Appl Environ Microbiol 76: 866–879

Caldwell CC, Chen Y, Goetzmann HS, Hao Y, Borchers MT, Hassett DJ, Young LR, Mavrodi D, Thomashow L, and Lau GW (2009) Pseudomonas aeruginosa exotoxin pyocyanin causes cystic fibrosis airway pathogenesis. Am J Pathol 175: 2473–2488


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