Gordon T. Taylor
Ph.D., 1983, University of Southern California
Marine microbiology, interests in microbial ecology,
biogeochemistry and marine biofouling
(Global Research Projects: 1, 2)
My research efforts have mainly focused on (i) microbial mediation of biogeochemical process (particularly carbon cycling), (ii) trophic interactions among microorganisms (bacteria, protozoans, algae and viruses), and (iii) microbial biofouling. Microbiological and chemical exchange processes across interfaces, such as oxic/anoxic, solid/water and air/water boundaries are particularly fascinating to me. I also have abiding interests in cycling of B-vitamins and other micronutrients between producers and consumers as well as oceanographic processes controlling microbial pathogens in the coastal ocean.
One of my enduring research interests has been the microbial ecology and diagenesis of organic debris as it is transported from sites of production to sites of deposition. Flux and decomposition of this material in the ocean has important implications on nutrient cycling, ocean productivity, transport of contaminants, and the ocean's capacity to sequester atmospheric carbon dioxide in its interior (deep water and sediments). Microbiological processes are intimately linked to the fate of this carbon. As founding members of the NSF-funded CARIACO Ocean Time Series Program, our research has improved understanding of current carbon cycling dynamics in the southern Caribbean Sea on the continental margin of Venezuela. Our results are being used to better interpret ocean conditions and climate in the geologic past in order to better predict the future. To learn more about this program, visit its website (http://www.imars.marine.usf.edu/CAR/) or refer to some of the publications listed below.
My lab and Prof. M. Scranton's lab have focused on microbial dynamics, biogeochemistry and transformations of organic materials transported through the redoxcline (transition between oxic and anoxic waters). We are particularly keen to understand processes that control carbon cycling, such as chemoautotrophic production, within the redoxcline. The reasons being that chemoautotrophic carbon fixation is quantitatively significant to the food web and processes occurring in this layer also control cycling of other globally-important elements, such as nitrogen and sulfur. Beyond being intrinsically fascinating, the Cariaco Basin serves as a model for other oxygen-impoverished water columns, which are becoming more widespread as human populations grow and climate changes. In addition to our times series program, my lab with colleagues from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution added an NSF-sponsored Metagenomics and Metatranscriptomics project in 2013 to the CARIACO core program, focusing on how genes and transcripts from Bacteria, Archaea and Protists change with the geochemical seascape. In my lab, we combine traditional microbial ecological and geochemical measurements with modern molecular techniques, such as ssu rRNA libraries, terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP), fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), and quantitative PCR of functional genes, to unravel the interplay between chemical gradients, elemental cycling and microbial population dynamics. Findings from Cariaco have broader application to other anoxic systems, such as the Black Sea, the Baltic and Mediterranean Deeps, Boundary Oxygen Minimum Zones, Gulf of Mexico “Dead Zone”, Long Island Sound, fjords, and sediments.
Over the years, our holy grail has been to link phylogeny to function, i.e., understand the jobs of specific microbial populations across wide-ranging geochemical seascapes. To that end, we have employed cell and taxon-specific tools, such as microautoradiography-FISH (MAR-FISH) and stable isotopic probing of nucleic acids (SIP), as well as classical cultivation approaches. Through NSF's Major Research Instrumentation funding, we are now building exciting new single-cell analytical capability within SoMAS' NAno-Raman Molecular Imaging Laboratory (opens Jan 2014). NARMIL will house a novel, state-of-the-art Renishaw inVia confocal laser Raman microspectrometer coupled to a Bruker Innova Atomic Force Microscope (AFM), which will permit 3-D mapping of chemical functionalities resolved to <50 nm, while coincidentally providing fluorescent, bright field and topographic images. By combining stable isotopic labeling, fluorescent phylogenetic probes and Raman mapping, we will determine identity of cells actively assimilating a particular label or producing specific materials. By focusing the laser beam on the AFM tip, we can achieve nanometer-scale spatial resolution and greater sensitivity through the Tip-Enhanced Raman Scattering (TERS) effect. TERS will enable non-destructive mapping of chemical distributions at spatial scales relevant to individual microorganisms. NARMIL will provide SoMAS with a unique and powerful analytical tool with countless applications throughout the natural sciences and engineering. We are very eager to explore new research frontiers with these novel capabilities!
Selected Recent Publications
Gobler CJ, Lobanov AV, Tang Y-Z, Turanov AA, Zhang Y, Doblin M, Taylor GT, Sañudo-Wilhelmy SA, Grigoriev IV, Gladyshev VN. (2013). The central role of selenium in the biochemistry and ecology of the harmful pelagophyte, Aureococcus anophagefferens J. Int. Soc. Microbial Ecology, 7, 1333-1343 doi: 10.1038/ismej.2013.25.
Rodriguez MJ, Madrid VM, Taylor GT, Scranton M, Chistoserdov A. (2013). Bacterial community composition in a large marine anoxic basin: a Cariaco Basin time-series survey. FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 84, 625-639.
Muller-Karger F, Taylor GT, Astor Y, Thunell RC, Scranton MI, , Varela R, Troccoli Ghinaglia L, Lorenzoni L, Montes E, Fanning KA, & Benitez-Nelson C. (2013). From Affiliated Project: The CARIACO Basin Ocean Time-Series. Land-Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone Inprint, ISSN 2070-2442 2013 Issue 1, pp. 5-17.
Sarmento H, Romera-Castillo C, Lindh M, Pinhassi J, Montserrat Sala M, Gasol JM, Marrase´ C, Taylor GT. (2013). Phytoplankton species-specific release of dissolved free amino acids and their selective consumption by bacteria. Limnol. Oceanogr. 58(3), 1123–1135.
Lorenzoni L, Taylor GT, Benitez-Nelson C, Hansell DA, Masserini R, Montes E, Fanning KA, Varela R, Astor Y, Guzmán L, Muller-Karger FE. (2013). Spatial and seasonal variability of dissolved organic matter in the Cariaco Basin, Venezuela. J Geophys Res – Biogeosciences 118, 1–12, doi:10.1002/jgrg.20075.
Taylor GT. (2013). Review of Marine Microbiology: Ecology and Applications, 2nd Edn. by Colin Munn, Garland Science Publ. NY and London, 2011 Quarterly Review of Biology, Univ. Chicago Press, 88(2), 144.
Li, X. N., Taylor, G. T., Astor, Y., Varela, R., & Scranton, M. I. (2012). Response to comment on "The conundrum between chemoautotrophic production and reductant and oxidant supply: A case study from the Cariaco basin". Deep-Sea Research Part I-Oceanographic Research Papers, 70, 106-108. doi: 10.1016/j.dsr.2012.08.002
Y.M. Astor, L. Lorenzoni, R. Thunell, R. Varela, F. Muller-Karger, L. Troccoli, G.T. Taylor, M.I. Scranton, E. Tappa, D. Rueda, Interannual variability in sea surface temperature and fCO2 changes in the Cariaco Basin, Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, Volume 93, September 2013, Pages 33-43, ISSN 0967-0645, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2013.01.002.
Astor YM, Lorenzoni L, Thunell R, Varela R, Muller-Karger F, Troccoli L, Taylor GT, Scranton MI, Tappa E Rueda D. (2013) Interannual variability in sea surface temperature and fCO2 changes in the Cariaco Basin, Deep-Sea Research II, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2013.01.002
Rodriguez MJ, Madrid VM, Taylor GT, Scranton M, Chistoserdov A. (2013) Bacterial community composition in a large marine anoxic basin: a Cariaco Basin time-series survey. FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. DOI: 10.1111/1574-6941.12094.
Muller-Karger F, Taylor GT, Astor Y, Thunell RC, Scranton MI, , Varela R, Troccoli Ghinaglia L, Lorenzoni L, Montes E, Fanning KA, & Benitez-Nelson C. (2013) From Affiliated Project: The CARIACO Basin Ocean Time-Series. Land-Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone Inprint, ISSN 2070-2442 2013 Issue 1, pp. 5-17.
Gobler CJ, Lobanov AV, Tang Y-Z, Turanov AA, Zhang Y, Doblin M, Taylor GT, Sañudo-Wilhelmy SA, Grigoriev IV, Gladyshev VN. (2013) The central role of selenium in the biochemistry and ecology of the harmful pelagophyte, Aureococcus anophagefferens J. Int. Soc. Microbial Ecology, doi: 10.1038/ismej.2013.25.
Sarmento H, Romera-Castillo C, Lindh M, Pinhassi J, Montserrat Sala M, Gasol JM, Marrase' C, Taylor GT. (2013) Phytoplankton species-specific release of dissolved free amino acids and their selective consumption by bacteria Limnol. Oceanogr. 58(3): 1123-1135.
Taylor GT, Muller-Karger F, Thunell RC, Scranton MI, Astor Y, Varela R, Troccoli-Ghinaglia L, Lorenzoni L, Fanning KA, Hameed S, Doherty O. (2012) Ecosystem response to global climate change in the southern Caribbean Sea. Proc. Nat'l. Acad. Sci. (USA) 109(47): 19315-19320.
Li XN, TaylorGT, Astor Y, Varela R, Scranton MI. (2012) Response to comment on 'The conundrum between chemoautotrophic production and reductant and oxidant supply: A case study from the Cariaco Basin'. Deep-Sea Res. 70:106-108.
Li XN, Taylor GT, Astor Y, Varela R, Scranton MI. (2012) The conundrum between chemoautotrophic production and oxidant and reductant supply: a case study from the Cariaco Basin. Deep-Sea Res. I, 61: 1-10.
Podlaska A, Wakeham SG, Fanning K, Taylor GT. (2012) Microbial community structure and chemoautotrophic activity in the oxygen minimum zone of the eastern tropical North Pacific. Deep-Sea Res. I, 66: 77-89.
Bell SL, Allam B, McElroy A, Dove A, Taylor GT. (2012) Investigation of epizootic shell disease in American lobsters (Homarus americanus) from Long Island Sound: I. Characterization of associated microbial communities. J Shellfish Res 31(2): 473-484.
Homerding M, McElroy A, Taylor GT, Dove A, Allam B. (2012) Investigation of epizootic shell disease in American lobsters (Homarus americanus) from Long Island Sound: II. Immune parameters in lobsters and relationships to the disease. J Shellfish Res 31(2): 495-504.
Wakeham SG, Turich C, Schubotz F, Podlaska A, Li XN, Varela R, Astor Y, Saenz J, Rush D, Sinninghe Damsté J, Summons RE, Scranton MI, Taylor GT & Hinrichs K-U. (2012) Biomarkers, chemistry and microbiology show chemoautotrophy in a multilayer chemocline in the Cariaco Basin. Deep-Sea Res. 63: 133-156.
Orsi W, Edgcomb V, Faria J, Foissner W, Fowle WH, Hohmann T, Suarez P, Taylor C, Taylor GT, Vďàčný P & Epstein SS. (2012) Class Cariacotrichea, a novel ciliate taxon from the anoxic Cariaco Basin,Venezuela. Internat'l Jour System Evolutionary Microbio. 62: 1425-1433.
Edgcomb V, Orsi W, Taylor GT, Vdacny P, Taylor C, Suarez P, Epstein S. (2011) Accessing marine protists from the anoxic Cariaco Basin.J Int Soc Microb Ecol. 5(8): 1237-1241.
Edgcomb V, Orsi W, Bunge J, Jeon SO, Christen R, Leslin C, Holder M, Taylor GT, Suarez P, Varela R, Epstein S. (2011) Protistan microbial observatory in the Cariaco Basin, Caribbean. I. Pyrosequencing vs Sanger insights into species richness. J Int Soc Microb Ecol. 5(8): 1344-1356.
Orsi W, Edgcomb V, Jeon SO, Bunge J, Taylor GT, Varela R, Epstein S. (2011) Protistan microbial observatory in the Cariaco Basin, Caribbean. II. Habitat specialization. J Int Soc Microb Ecol. 5(8): 1357-1373.
Finiguerra MB, Escribano DF, Taylor GT. (2011) Light-independent mechanisms of virion inactivation in coastal marine systems. Hydrobiologia, 665: 51-66.
Wakeham SG, Turich C, Taylor GT, Podlaska A, Scranton MI, Li XN, Varela R, Astor Y. (2010) Mid-chain methoxylated fatty acids within the chemocline of the Cariaco Basin: a chemoautotrophic source? Organic Geochem. 41:498-512.
Muller-Karger FE, Varela R, Thunell RC, Scranton MI, Taylor GT, Astor Y, Benitez-Nelson CR, Lorenzoni L, Tappa E, Goñi MA, Rueda D & Hu C. (2010) The CARIACO Oceanographic Time Series. In: Carbon and Nutrient Fluxes in Continental Margins: A Global Synthesis. JGOFS Continental Margins Task Team Synthesis Book. Editors: KK Liu, L Atkinson, Renato Quinoñes, Liana Talaue-McManus (2006) Springer-Verlag New York, p. 454-463.
Taylor GT, Thunell RC, Varela R, Benitez-Nelson C & Scranton MI. (2009) Hydrolytic ectoenzyme activity associated with suspended and sinking organic particles above and within the anoxic Cariaco Basin. Deep-Sea Res. 56: 1266-1283
Panzeca C, Beck AJ, Tovar-Sanchez A, Segovio-Zavala J, Gobler CJ, Taylor GT, Sañudo-Wilhelmy SA (2009) Distributions of dissolved vitamin B12 and Co in coastal and open-ocean marine systems. Estuar. Coastal Shelf Sci. 85: 223-230.
Li X, Taylor GT, Astor Y, Scranton MI. (2009) Relationship of sulfur speciation to hydrographic conditions and chemoautotrophic production in the Cariaco Basin. Mar. Chem. 112: 53-64
Taylor GT & Sullivan CW (2008) Vitamin B12 and cobalt cycling among diatoms and bacteria in Antarctic sea ice microbial communities. Limnol. Oceanogr. 53: 1862-1877.
Panzeca C, Beck AJ, LeBlanc K, Taylor GT, Hutchins DA, Sañudo-Wilhelmy SA (2008) Potential cobalt limitation of vitamin B12 synthesis in the North Atlantic Ocean. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 22: GB2029, doi:10.1029/2007GB003124
Lin X, MI Scranton, AY Chistoserdov, R Varela & GT Taylor (2008) Spatiotemporal dynamics of bacterial populations in the anoxic Cariaco Basin. Limnol Oceanogr. 53(1): 37-51.
Gobler CJ, Norman C, Panzeca C, Taylor GT, Sañudo-Wilhelmy SA (2007) Effects of vitamins (B1, B12) and inorganic nutrient dynamics on algal blooms in Long Island estuaries. Aquat. Microb. Ecol. 49: 181-194
Lin X, Scranton MI, Varela R, Chistoserdov AY & Taylor GT (2007) Compositional responses of bacterial communities to redox gradients and grazing in the anoxic Cariaco Basin. Aquat. Microb. Ecol. 47: 57-72
Panzeca C, Tovar-Sanchez A, Agustí S, Reche I, Duarte CM & Taylor GT & Sañudo-Wilhelmy SA (2006) B vitamin as regulators of phytoplankton dynamics. EOS, 87(52): 593-596
Lin X, Wakeham SG, Putnam IF, Astor YM, Scranton MI & Taylor GT (2006) Vertical distributions of prokaryotic assemblages in the anoxic Cariaco Basin and Black Sea compared using fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 72(4): 2679-2690
Sañudo-Wilhelmy, SA, Okbamichael M, Gobler CJ & Taylor GT (2006) Regulation of phytoplankton dynamics by vitamin B12. Geophys. Res. Letters. 33, L04604, doi:10.1029/2005GL025046
Taylor GT, Gobler CJ & Sañudo-Wilhelmy SA (2006) Speciation and concentrations of dissolved nitrogen as determinants of brown tide (Aureococcus anophagefferens) bloom initiation. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 312:67-83
Stoeck T, Hayward B, Taylor GT, Varela R, Epstein SS (2006) The multiple PCR-primer approach to access the microeukaryotic diversity in the anoxic Cariaco Basin (Caribbean Sea). Protist 157: 31-43
Stoeck T, Taylor GT & Epstein S (2003) Novel eukaryotes from a permanently anoxic Cariaco Basin (Caribbean Sea). Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 69: 5656-5663.
Taylor GT, Hein C & Iabichella M (2003) Temporal variations in viral distributions in the anoxic Cariaco Basin. Aquatic Microbial Ecology, 30: 103-116.
Taylor GT, Way J & Scranton MI (2003) Transport and planktonic cycling of organic carbon in the highly urbanized Hudson River estuary. Limnol. Oceanogr. 48: 1779-1795.
Taylor GT, Way J, Yu Y & Scranton MI (2003) Patterns of hydrolytic ectoenzyme activity among bacterioplankton communities in the lower Hudson River and Western Long Island Sound estuaries. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 263:1-15.
Anderson TH & Taylor GT (2001) Nutrient pulses, plankton blooms and hypoxia in western Long Island Sound. Estuaries, 24: 228-243.
Taylor GT, Scranton MI, Iabichella M, Ho T-Y, Thunell RC, Muller-Karger F & Varela R. (2001) Chemoautotrophy in the redox transition zone of the Cariaco Basin: A significant midwater source of organic carbon production. Limnol. Oceanogr. 46: 148-163.