Metabolic Potential of Subsurface

Quantify prevalent metabolic pathways in subsurface microbial communities that mediate carbon and electron flux.

Scientific Questions

  • In what ways do the metabolic lifestyles/pathways of microorganisms modulate in response to environmental changes (e.g., changes in redox conditions as a function of water table fluctuation or organic matter loading)?
  • To what extent can we link modes of degradation of organic matter to genetically encoded metabolic potential?
  • Under what conditions does chemolithoautotrophy play a significant role in subsurface carbon and electron flow?

Task Categories

  • Meta-omics analysis (metagenomic, metatranscriptomic, metaproteomic)
  • Physiological analysis for providing kinetic data and confirming annotation
  • High-throughput microbial isolation
  • Experimental systems: Field-based and laboratory-based


  • Jill Banfield & Harry Beller (leads)
  • Eoin Brodie
  • Romy Chakraborty
  • Bob Hettich (ORNL)
  • Mike Wilkins (PNNL)


  • JGI Community Sequencing Project (Banfield)
  • Illumina sequencer
  • Proteomics MS facilities (ORNL)
  • NimbleGen microarray facilities
  • EMSL user award (Banfield)
  • Kbase collaboration project (ggKbase, Banfield)