Extremophiles and Biotechnology

Protein secretion in a deep biosphere extremophile

Yong Yan Lao completed her Master degree in Microbiology on December 16 on a study of the protein secretome in an ancient extremophilic bacterium that inhabits deep and hot petroleum reservoirs. Congratulations!

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Yong Yan Lao has studied the secretome, i.e. the complete set of extracellular proteins being secreted from the thermophilic bacterium, Kosmotoga olearia, previously isolated from hot fluid produced from an North Sea oil well. Yong has performed anaerobic cultivation of this strict anaerobe using a variety of organic substrates and analysed extracellular proteins using Proteomics methods. She has identified secreted proteins with known as well as unknown functions, including moonlighting proteins, and their secretory responses to cultivation conditions. She has identified novel extracellular protein families possibly involved in nutrient uptake in the deep subsurface.