Elena María Hilario Andrade
Address Landcare Research, Private Bag 92-170, 120 Mt Albert Rd. Mt Albert, Auckland New Zealand
Telephone 64-9-815-4200 x7024
Personal Born April 30, 1966, México City, México.
Ph D degree 1/1998 University of Connecticut, USA (Cell Biology). Title of Dissertation: The vacuolar H+-ATPase from Giardia lamblia: a potential model for the study of the evolution of the first eukaryotes. Advisor: Prof. Dr. J. Peter Gogarten.
Masters Degree 12/ 1992 UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) (Biochemistry). Title of Dissertation: Characterization of the cytoplasmic and membrane bound pyrophosphatases from the cyanobacterium Spirulina maxima. Advisor: Prof. Dr. Heliodoro Celis Sandoval.
Diploma 1/1990 UNAM (Biology). Title of Dissertation: Determintation of the physicochemical constants and spectrophotometric characteristics of the metallochormic Zincon and its potential use in biological systems. Advisror: Prof. Dr. Heliodoro Celis Sandoval.
2001-present Scientist, Plant gene mapping
1998-2001 Postdoctoral fellow at Landcare Research, New Zealand
1997 Teaching Assistant in Advanced Biochemistry Laboratory, Dept. Molecular Cell Biology, University of Connecticut, USA.
5/1990-1/1993 Teaching assistant in Biochemistry course (laboratory), UNAM
Member of the New Zealand Microbiological Society
Member of the American Society for Microbiology
Member of the Mexican Society of Biochemistry
Member of the International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life (ISSOL) and New Zealand representative of ISSOL.
Committee member in oral defenses (diploma in Biology, UNAM) 1991-1993
10/1999 Travel grant to attend the Gordon Research Conference on Molecular Evolution, Hayama, Japan.
6-7/1995 Recipient of an Award from the Dept. of Navy, Office of Naval Research to attend the Microbial Diversity Course at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA.
6-7/1994 Recipient of the NASA Planetary Biology Internship
7/1993 Recipient of a travel grant from ISSOL.
*1/1993-1/1997 Ph D. studies at University of Connecticut, USA.
*11/1990-12/1992 Master degree studies at UNAM, México.
*11/1989-10/1990 Prerequisite courses for master degree studies, UNAM.
*10/1988-9/1989 Undergraduate, Biology at UNAM.
*1983-1985 Private highschool, México.
* from UNAM
HilarioE. Labelling and Detection, in "Gene Probes -Principles and Protocols" Methods in Molecular Biology Series. (Aquino de Muro M. and Rapley R. eds), Humana Press, Totowa, NY. (in preparation)
Hilario E, Gogarten JP. (1998) The prokaryote to eukaryote transition reflected in the evolution of the V/F/A-ATPase catalytic and proteolipid subunits. J. Mol. Evol. 46:703-715
Olendzenski L, Hilario E, Gogarten JP. (1998). Horizontal Gene Transfer and Fusing Lines of Descent: The Archaebacteria -a Chimera? in "Horizontal Gene Transfer", M. Syvanen and C. Kado (eds.), Chapman/Hall, London, pp 349-362
Gogarten JP, Olendzenski L, Hilario E. (1998) Gene Duplications and Horizontal Gene Transfer. In : "Thermophiles: the key to molecular evolution and the origin of life?" eds. Michael Adams and Juergen Weigel, publ.; Taylor and Francis, pp. 165-176
Gogarten JP, Hilario E, Olendzenski L. (1997) The Tree of Life. American Society for Microbiol. News 63, 404-405
Gogarten JP, Olendzenski L, Hilario E, Simon C, Holsinger KE. (1996). Dating the Cenancester of Organisms - Technical Comment. Science 274 (5293):1750-1751
Gogarten JP, Hilario E, Olendzenski L (1996). Gene duplications and Horizontal Gene Transfer during Early Evolution, In "Evolution of Microbial Life" (Roberts McL., Sharp P, Alderson G, Collins M, eds.) Soc. Gen. Microbiol. Symp. 54. Cambridge Press
Hilario E, Gogarten JP (1995) The V-ATPase A subunit gene (vma-1) from Giardia lamblia. Biochem. Biophys. Acta 128, 94-98
Gogarten-Boekels M, Hilario E, Gogarten JP. (1995) The effects of heavy meteorite bombardment on the early evolution- The emergence on the three domains of life. Origins of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere. 25, 251-264
Hilario E, Gogarten JP (1993) Horizontal transfer of ATPase genes -the tree of life becomes a net of life. Biosystems 31, 111-119
Hilario E, Romero I, Celis H. (1990) Determintation of the physicochemical constants and spectrophotometric characteristics of the metallochormic Zincon and its potential use in biological systems. J. Biochem. Biophys. Meth. 21, 197-207
Hilario E and Gogarten JP. The Intein in the Thermoplasma A-ATPase A subunit: Evolutionary and functional implications. IX International Congress of Bacteriology and Applied Microbiology, Sydney, Australia. August, 1999. And Gordon Conference on Molecular Evolution, Hayama, Japan, October, 1999.
Hilario E and Young JM. Gene Transfer among Pseudomonas spp. from saprophytic plant associations. IX International Congress of Bacteriology and Applied Microbiology, Sydney, Australia. August, 1999. And Gordon Conference on Molecular Evolution, Hayama, Japan, October, 1999.
Hilario E and Gogarten JP. The prokaryote to eukaryote transition reflected in the evolution of the V/F/A-ATPase catalytic and proteolipid subunits. Gordon Research Conference on Microbial Population Biology, Plymouth, New Hampshire, July 27-August 2, 1997. Also presented as contributing speaker at the New England Molecular and Evolutionary Biology Meeting. Yale Universtity, November 1997, and at the NZMS/NZSBMB Microbes and Molecules Meeting, Masterton, New Zealand, Nov 30-Dec 3, 1998.
Hilario E and Gogarten JP. The vacuolar H+-ATPase from Giardia lamblia: a potential model for the study of the evolution of the first eukaryotes. Presented at the New England Molecular and Evolutionary Biology Meeting. November 1995, Storrs CT. Also presented at the Eastern Great Lakes Molecular Evolution Meeting, May 1996, Cornell University, NY.
Hilario E and Gogarten JP. Horizontal transfer of ATPase genes -the tree of life becomes a net of life. Presented at the New England Molecular and Evolutionary Biology Meeting. November 1993, New York, N.Y., and the Gordon Research Conferences in Origin of Life, New Port, RI July 1994.
Hilario,E, Gogarten JP, Sosa-Peinado A, Silva E, Lazcano A. Early Gene Duplication and the Origin of Biochemical Regulation. 10th International Conference on the Origin of Life. Barcelona, Spain July 1993.
Hilario E, Gómez Lojero C, Celis H. The membrane-bound pyrophosphatases of the cyanobacterium Spirulina maxima. VII Panamerican Asocciation of Biochemistry Societies Conference. Ixtapa, Gro. México September 27-October 2, 1992.
Celis H, Hilario E, Romero I. Caracterización del metalocrómico Zincon (óxido 2-carboxi-2'-hidroxi-5-sulfoformazilbenceno) y su utilización en sistemas biológicos. I Iberoamerican Congress on Biophysics. Sevilla, Spain, September, 1989.
Phylogenetic analysis of nucleotide and amino acid sequences using the following programs: PCGene, ClustalW, Sequencher, Phylip, Paup*, Puzzle, Statalign, as well as accessing data bases through the World Wide Web.
Molecular biology techniques; genomic DNA extractions from bacteria and Giardia; restriction pattern analysis; Southern blots and library screening using non-radioactive probes and colorimetric detection methods; primer design and PCR techniques; DNA sequencing and editing; genomic subtraction protocols.
Basic techniques on protein purification: crude cytoplasmic and membrane preparations; size exclusion, ionic exchance and affinity chromatographies; native and denaturing electrophoresis
Bacterial cultures of acidothermophiles, halophiles, mesophiles and photosynthetic bacteria. Axenic cultures of the protist Giardia lamblia
Antibody production in chickens, extraction of IgY and affinity purification of specific antibodies; Western blot analysis
Enzymatic activity determination of pyrophosphatases and H+-ATPases
Single and double beam spectrophotometry
Current Research Project
My main research programme is the impact of horizontal gene transfer in microbial evolution. My postdoctoral research aims to search for evidence of horizontal gene transfer among saprophytic Pseudomonas species. This study includes twenty-two Pseudomonas strains and the project includes two approaches. The first one consists of obtaining partial sequences of three molecular markers: recombinant protein A (recA), the small subunit of carbamoyl phosphate synthase (carA), and the catalytic subunit of the F0F1-ATP synthase (atpD). Based on the codon usage and G+C content of the genus Pseudomonas, I designed redundant oligonucleotides to amplify and sequence the core region of each marker. I am currently carrying out the phylogenetic analysis of the three molecular markers of the selected species plus representatives of the proteobacteria group reported in databases.
The second approach of this project is an experimental search for lateral transfer of DNA. I set up the genomic subtraction technique and constructed a subtraction library for P. agarici subtracted with ten Pseudomonas strains. Two unique subtraction clones were sequenced. Both contain a significant lower G+C content (0.45 and 0.52, respectively, compared to 0.61 in coding regions or 0.58-0.7 in non-coding regions). Southern blot analysis confirmed that both clones belong to the subtracted species and are absent in the other ten subtracter species. The clone with the lowest GC content was used as probe to isolate a larger restriction fragment for further characterization. A 3.1 kb fragment was cloned and partially sequenced. An open reading frame similar to the macrophage infectivity potentiator protein of several proteobacteria has been identified. Charaterization of the upstream and downstream regions is now under study.
Another research interest related to horizontal gene transfer is the importance of mobile genetic elements in the establishment and maintenance of microbial communities. In collaboration with Dr Jacqueline Aislabie (Landcare Research New Zealand) we are preparing a research programme proposal to apply molecular techniques such as terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) based on 16S-rRNA and other functional genes. We will compare the genetic diversity of microbial communities of Antarctic soils from three locations at a range of depths, and monitor changes in the microbial community of soil following exposure to hydrocarbons. I have been invited to participate in a grant proposal for the NASA Astrobiology Institute, lead by my PhD advisor Dr Peter Gogarten. This proposal will study horizontal gene transfer as a historical process, as well as an experimental approach to evaluate the dynamics of mobile genetic elements in microbial populations.
A fortunate outcome of my PhD research thesis was the discovery of a small intein located in the catalytic subunit of the A-ATP synthase of Thermoplasma acidophilum. I have followed up this study with Dr Peter Gogarten, and presented an updated compilation of small inteins last year at the IX International Congress of Bacteriology and Applied Microbiology, Sydney, Australia.
I enjoy the full process of scientific research: from proposing new ideas and hypothesis, obtaining the data, troubleshooting daily problems in the experimental designs, up to the analysis and discussion of the results. My laboratory skills have undoubtedly helped me to appreciate the complete picture of science.
1. Prof Dr Johann Peter Gogarten
Department of Molecular and Cell Biology
University of Connecticut
75 N. Eagleville Rd. U-44
Storrs, CT 06269-3044 USA
2. Dr Richard D. Newcomb
Science Leader, Plant Health and Development Group
The Horticulture and Food Research Institute of New Zealand Ltd.
Mt Albert Research Centre, 120 Mt Albert Road,
Private Bag 92-169 Auckland, New Zealand
Phone 64-9-8154200 Ext 7294
3. Dr Ross E. Beever
Former Programme Leader
Landcare Research, Ltd.
Mt Albert Research Centre, 120 Mt Albert Road,
Private Bag 92-170 Auckland, New Zealand
Phone 64-9-8154200 Ext 7310