April 26, 2013: Nicolai Panikov presents 'Microbial Life Below the Freezing Point'

by Michelle Saport  |   

Friday, April 26, 3:30-4:45 p.m. ConocoPhillips Integrated Science Building, Room 120

The Department of Biological Sciences welcomes Nicolai Panikov, visiting scientist, Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard School of Public Health, for a talk on "Microbial Life Below the Freezing Point."

Traditional microbial physiology interprets cold-adaptation as the ability of microorganisms to preserve viability after freeze-thaw, as well as grow and metabolize at low temperatures, typically around zero. Microbial metabolism below the freezing point is relatively new to science and a seriously understudied physiological phenomenon. Only recently have scientists obtained convincing evidences that subzero activity of microorganisms (SZA) is not a laboratory artifact but important natural phenomenon worthy of careful study.

Panikov's talk will focus on SZA in Alaska tundra and permafrost, covering the following subjects:

  • Good and bad techniques for recording subzero growth and activity;
  • Microorganisms responsible for SZA--phylogeny and specific adaptations;
  • Physiology of SZA--true growth or maintenance?;
  • Molecular mechanisms of SZA; and
  • Environmental and biotechnological significance of SZA.

Parking on campus is free on Fridays.

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