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Research Group
Professor of Environmental Microbiology




Lucey, K. S. and J. R. Leadbetter (2013). Catechol 2,3-dioxygenase and other meta-cleavage catabolic pathway genes in the "anaerobic" termite gut spirochete Treponema primitia. Mol Ecol [doi: 10.1111/mec.12598. Epub ahead of print 11.22.2013]. [Link]

Han, J.-I., J. C. Spain, J. R. Leadbetter, G. Ovchinnikova , L. A. Goodwin, C. S. Han, T. Woyke, K. W. Davenport, and P. M. Orwin (2013). Genome of the root-associated plant growth-promoting bacterium Variovorax paradoxus strain EPS. Genome Announc 1(5):e00843-13 [Link]

Matson, E. G., A. Z. Rosenthal, X. Zhang, and J. R. Leadbetter (2013). Genome-wide effects of selenium and translational uncoupling on transcription in the termite gut symbiont Treponema primitiamBio 4(6):e00869-13 [Link]

Rosenthal, A. Z., X. Zhang, K. S. Lucey, E. A. Ottesen, V. Trivedi, H. M. T. Choi, N. A. Pierce, and J. R. Leadbetter (2013). Localizing transcripts to single cells suggests an important role of uncultured deltaproteobacteria in the termite gut hydrogen economy. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 110:16163-8 [Link]



Zhang, X. and J. R. Leadbetter (2012). Evidence for cascades of perturbation and adaption in the metabolic genes of higher termite gut symbionts. mBio 3(4):e00223-12 [Link]

Ballor, N. R. and J. R. Leadbetter (2012). Patterns of [FeFe] hydrogenase diversity in the gut microbial communities of lignocellulose-feeding higher termites. Appl Environ Microbiol 78:5368-5374 [Link]

Ballor, N. R. and J. R. Leadbetter (2012). Analysis of extensive [FeFe] hydrogenase gene diversity within the gut microbiota of insects representing five families of Dictyoptera. Microb Ecol 63:586-595 [Link]

Ballor, N. R., I. Paulsen, and J. R. Leadbetter (2012). Genomic analysis reveals multiple [FeFe] hydrogenases and hydrogen sensors encoded by treponemes from the H2-rich termite gut. Microb Ecol 63:282-294 [Link]



Tocheva E. I., E. G. Matson, D. M. Morris , F. Moussavi, J. R. Leadbetter, and G. J. Jensen (2011). Peptidoglycan remodeling and conversion of an inner membrane into an outer membrane during sporulation. Cell 146:799-812 [Link]

Tadmor, A. D., E. A. Ottesen, J. R. Leadbetter, and R. Phillips (2011). Probing individual environmental bacteria for viruses by using microfluidic digital PCR. Science 333:58-62 [Link to Cover Article] [Link to Commentary]

Chen, S., M. Beeby, G. E. Murphy, J. R. Leadbetter, D. R. Hendrixson, A. Briegel, Z. Li, J. Shi, E. I. Tocheva, A. Muller, M. J. Dobro, and G. J. Jensen (2011). Structural diversity of bacterial flagellar motors. EMBO J. 30:2972-2981 [Link]

Matson, E. G., K. G. Gora, and J. R. Leadbetter (2011). Anaerobic carbon monoxide dehydrogenase diversity in the homoacetogenic hindgut microbial communities of lower termites and the wood roach. PLoS One 6:e19316 [Link]

Ottesen, E. A., and J. R. Leadbetter (2011). Formyltetrahydrofolate synthetase gene diversity in the guts of higher termites with different diets and lifestyles. Appl Environ Microbiol 77:3461-7 [Link]

Rosenthal, A. Z., E. G. Matson, A. Eldar, and J. R. Leadbetter (2011). RNA-seq reveals cooperative metabolic interactions between two termite-gut spirochete species in co-culture. ISME J 5:1133-42 [Link]

Zhang, X., E. G. Matson, and J. R. Leadbetter (2011).  Genes for selenium dependent and independent formate dehydrogenase in the gut microbial communities of three lower, wood-feeding termites and a wood-feeding roach. Environ Microbiol 13:307-23 [Link]

Han, J.-I., H. K. Choi, S. W. Lee, P. M. Orwin, J. Kim, S. L. Laroe, T. G. Kim, J. O'Neil, J. R. Leadbetter, S. Y. Lee, C. G. Hur, J. C. Spain, G. Ovchinnikova, L. Goodwin, and C. Han (2011). Complete genome sequence of the metabolically versatile plant growth-promoting endophyte Variovorax paradoxus S110. J Bacteriol 193:1183-90 [Link]


2008 - 2010

Matson, E.G., X. Zhang, and J. R. Leadbetter (2010) Selenium controls transcription of paralogous formate dehydrogenase genes in the termite gut acetogen, Treponema primitia. Environ Microbiol, 12, 2245-2258 [Link]

Ottesen, E. A. and J. R. Leadbetter (2010) Diversity of formyltetrahydrofolate synthetases in the guts of the wood-feeding cockroach Cryptocercus punctulatus and the omnivorous cockroach Periplaneta americana. Appl Environ Microbiol, 76:4909-13 [Link]

Murphy, G. E., E. G. Matson, J. R. Leadbetter, H. C. Berg, and G. J. Jensen (2008). Novel ultrastructures of Treponema primitia and their implications for motility. Mol Microbiol 67:1184-95 [Link]


Warnecke, F., P. Luginbuhl, N. Ivanova, M. Ghassemian, T. H. Richardson, J. T. Stege, M. Cayouette, A. C. McHardy, G. Djordjevic, N. Aboushadi, R. Sorek, S. G. Tringe, M. Podar, H. G. Martin, V. Kunin, D. Dalevi, J. Madejska, E. Kirton, D. Platt, E. Szeto, A. Salamov, K. Barry, N. Mikhailova, N. C. Kyrpides, E. G. Matson, E. A. Ottesen, X. Zhang, M. Hernandez, C. Murillo, L. G. Acosta, I. Rigoutsos, G. Tamayo, B. D. Green, C. Chang, E. M. Rubin, E. J. Mathur, D. E. Robertson, P. Hugenholtz, and J. R. Leadbetter (2007). Metagenomic and functional analysis of hindgut microbiota of a wood-feeding higher termite. Nature 450:560-5 [Link]

Hawkins, A. C., F. H. Arnold, R. Stuermer, B. Hauer, and J. R. Leadbetter (2007). Directed evolution of Vibrio fischeri LuxR for improved response to butanoyl-homoserine lactone. Appl Environ Microbiol 73: 5775-81 [Link]

Wang, Y. J., J. J. Huang, and J. R. Leadbetter (2007). Acyl-HSL signal decay: intrinsic to bacterial cell-cell communications. Adv Appl Microbiol 61:27-58 [Link]


Ottesen, E. A., J. W. Hong, S. R. Quake, and J. R. Leadbetter (2006). Microfluidic digital PCR enables multigene analysis of individual environmental bacteria. Science 314:1464-7. [Link]

Murphy, G. E., J. R. Leadbetter, and G. J. Jensen (2006). In situ structure of the complete Treponema primitia flagellar motor. Nature 442:1062-4 [Link]

Collins, C. H., J. R. Leadbetter, and F. H. Arnold (2006). Dual selection enhances the signaling specificity of a variant of the quorum-sensing transcriptional activator LuxR. Nat. Biotechnol. 24:708-12 [Link]

Yang, W. W., J.-I. Han, and J. R. Leadbetter (2006). Utilization of homoserine lactone as a sole source of carbon and energy by soil Arthrobacter and Burkholderia species. Arch. Microbiol. 185:47-54 [Link]

Flagan, S. F., and J. R. Leadbetter (2006). Utilization of capsaicin and vanillylamine as growth substrates by Capsicum (hot pepper)-associated bacteria. Environ. Microbiol. 8:560-5 [Link]

Huang, J. J., A. Petersen, A., M. Whiteley, and J. R. Leadbetter (2006). Identification of QuiP, the product of gene PA1032, as the second acyl-homoserine lactone acylase of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 72:1190-1197.

Salmassi, T. M., J. J. Walker, D. K. Newman, J. R. Leadbetter, N. R. Pace, and J. G. Hering. (2006). Community and cultivation analysis of arsenite oxidizing biofilms at Hot Creek. Environ. Microbiol. 8:50-59.



Leadbetter, J. R., Volume Editor. (2005). Environmental Microbiology, Vol. 397. In "Methods in ENZYMOLOGY" (J. N. Abelson and M. I. Simon, Editors). Elsevier - Academic Press. [Weblink to TOC and Abtracts].

Wang, Y.-J., and J. R. Leadbetter. (2005). Rapid acyl-homoserine lactone quorum signal decomposition by diverse soils. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 71:1291-1299 (Cover).

Collins, C. H., F. H. Arnold, and J. R. Leadbetter. (2005). Directed evolution of Vibrio fischeri LuxR for increased sensitivity to a broad spectrum of acyl-homoserine lactones. Mol. Microbiol. 55:712-723.


Vu, A. T., N. C. Nguyen, and J. R. Leadbetter. (2004). Iron reduction in the metal-rich guts of wood-feeding termites. Geobiology 2:239-247.

Graber, J. R., J. R. Leadbetter, and J.A. Breznak. (2004). Description of Treponema azotonutricium sp. nov. and Treponema primitia sp. nov., the first spirochetes isolated from termite guts. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 70:1315-1320.


Huang, J. J., J.-I. Han, L.-H. Zhang, and J. R. Leadbetter. (2003). Utilization of acyl-homoserine lactone quorum signals for growth by a soil pseudomonad and Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 69:5941-5949.

Salmassi, T. M. & J. R. Leadbetter. (2003). Analysis of genes of tetrahydrofolate-dependent metabolism from cultivated spirochaetes and the gut community of the termite Zootermopsis angusticollis. Microbiology-UK 149:2529-2537. (Cover illustration).

Leadbetter, J. R. (2003). Cultivation of recalcitrant microbes: cells are alive, well, and revealing their secrets in the 21st century laboratory. Curr. Opin. Microbiol. 6:274-281.

Yokobayashi, Y., C. H. Collins, J. R. Leadbetter, R. Weiss, and F. H. Arnold. (2003). Evolutionary design strategies for synthetic genetic circuits. Adv. Complex Syst. 6:1-9

Flagan, S., W.-K. Ching, and J. R. Leadbetter (2003). Arthrobacter strain VAI-A utilizes acyl-homoserine lactone inactivation products and stimulates quorum signal biodegradation by Variovorax paradoxus. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 69:909-916.

Lin, Y.-H., J.-L. Xu, J. Hu, L.-H. Wang, S. L. Ong, J. R. Leadbetter, and L.-H. Zhang. (2003). Acyl-homoserine lactone acylase from Ralstonia str. XJ12B represents a novel and potent class of quorum quenching enzymes. Mol. Microbiol. 47:849-860.

2000 - 2001 - 2002

Breznak, J. A. and J. R. Leadbetter. (2002). Termite gut spirochetes. In: The Prokaryotes - an evolving electronic resource for the microbiological community. M. Dworkin, S. Falkow, E. Rosenberg, K.H. Schleifer, E. Stackebrandt (editors). Springer-Verlag, New York.

Lilburn, T. G., K. S. Kim, N. E. Ostrom, K. R. Byzek, J. R. Leadbetter, and J. A. Breznak. (2001). Nitrogen fixation by symbiotic and free-living spirochetes. Science 292:2495-2498.

Leadbetter, J. R. (2001). Plant microbiology - quieting the raucous crowd. Nature 411:748-749.

Leadbetter, J. R. and E. P. Greenberg. (2000). Metabolism of acyl-homoserine lactone quorum sensing signals by Variovorax paradoxus. J. Bacteriol. 182:6921-6926.

Pre- 2000

Leadbetter, J. R., T. M. Schmidt, J. R. Graber, and J. A. Breznak. (1999). Acetogenesis from H2 plus CO2 by spirochetes from termite guts. Science 283:686-689.

Lie, T. J., J. R. Leadbetter, and E. R. Leadbetter. (1998). Metabolism of sulfonic acids and other organosulfur compounds by sulfate-reducing bacteria. Geomicrobiol. J. 15:135-149.

Leadbetter, J. R., L. D. Crosby, and J. A. Breznak. (1998). Methanobrevibacter filiformis sp. nov., a filamentous methanogen from termite hindguts. Arch. Microbiol. 169:287-292.

Lie, T. J., T. Pitta, W. Godchaux, E. R. Leadbetter, and J. R. Leadbetter. (1996). Sulfonates: novel participants in anaerobic respiration. Arch. Microbiol. 166:204-209.

Leadbetter, J. R. and J. A. Breznak. (1996). Physiological ecology of Methanobrevibacter cuticularis sp. nov. and Methanobrevibacter curvatus sp. nov., isolated from the hindgut of the termite Reticulitermes flavipes. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 62:3620-3631.

Smith, J. J., J. S. Scott-Craig, J. R. Leadbetter, G. L. Bush, D. L. Roberts & D. W. Fulbright. (1994). Characterization of random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) products from Xanthomonas campestris and some comments on the use of RAPD products in phylogenetic analysis. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 3:135-145.