Welcome to Youssef Lab

(L-R) Dr. Jessica Morrison, Radwa Hanafy, Dr. Noha Youssef, Shelby Rice, and Abhaya Ranganathan 
 Fall 2015 Youssef Lab members at OSU Labs at Venture I

Lab Picture of everyone croppedOur lab is interested in exploring the metabolic diversities in single cell genomes of not-yet cultured Bacteria and Archaea. We analyze single-amplified-genomes (SAGs) of candidate phyla in hopes of finding clues for culturing them. Examples of SAGs studied include the candidate bacterial phyla WS3 "Latescibacteria," and WWE1 "Claocimonetes", and the candidate archaeal superphylum DPANN.

We are also researching the phylum Neocallimastigomycota, the fungal phylum of the anaerobic gut fungi (AGF). AGF play a role in plant biomass degradation in many herbivorous animals. The lab is active in investigating the ecology, metabolic capabilities, and genomics of the Neocallimastigomycota. Currently our research is active on several fronts:

  • Purification and characterization of lignocellulolytic enzymes from Orpinomyces C1A.
  • A pan genomic survey of all 6 known AGF genera, and utilizing the data for an extensive phylogenomic analysis of this phylum, especially for resolving the evolutionary history of Neocallimastigomycota within the fungal tree of life.
  • Isolation efforts of novel anaerobic fungal genera.
  • A study of the role of focal adhesion machinery in Orpinomyces C1A and its relationship to zoospores flagellar assembly.

Our lab is also interested in studying bacterial community structure in diverse ecosystems, with a focus on the "rare biosphere". We are currently interested in studying the change in microbial community composition and structure with respect to algal blooms and subsequent water bodies stratification, as well as enriching for the algal cell wall degrading community under anaerobic conditions.