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John Thomas Beatty


Ph.D. in Microbiology, Indiana University, 1980

Current position

He is a professor in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at the University of British Columbia, where he has directed a research group since 1983. His research interests include gene transfer agents, and the molecular biology and applications of bacterial photosynthetic complexes.

Publications (since 2010)

  1. Brimacombe, C. A., Ding, H., Johnson, J. A. and Beatty, J. T. (2015). Homologues of Genetic Transformation DNA Import Genes Are Required for Rhodobacter capsulatus Gene Transfer Agent Recipient Capability Regulated by the Response Regulator CtrA. J Bacteriol 197(16): 2653-2663.
  2. Yaghoubi, H., Lafalce, E., Jun, D., Jiang, X., Beatty, J. T. and Takshi, A. (2015). Large photocurrent response and external quantum efficiency in biophotoelectrochemical cells incorporating reaction center plus light harvesting complexes. Biomacromolecules 16(4): 1112-1118.
  3. Brimacombe, C. A., Ding, H. and Beatty, J. T. (2014). Rhodobacter capsulatus DprA is essential for RecA-mediated gene transfer agent (RcGTA) recipient capability regulated by quorum-sensing and the CtrA response regulator. Mol Microbiol 92(6): 1260-1278.
  4. Dutta, P. K., Lin, S., Loskutov, A., Levenberg, S., Jun, D., Saer, R., Beatty, J. T., Liu, Y., Yan, H. and Woodbury, N. W. (2014). Reengineering the optical absorption cross-section of photosynthetic reaction centers. J Am Chem Soc 136(12): 4599-4604.
  5. Ding, H., Moksa, M. M., Hirst, M. and Beatty, J. T. (2014). Draft Genome Sequences of Six Rhodobacter capsulatus Strains, YW1, YW2, B6, Y262, R121, and DE442. Genome Announc 2(1).
  6. Fixen, K. R., Baker, A. W., Stojković, E. A., Beatty, J. T. and Harwood, C. S. (2014). Apo-bacteriophytochromes modulate bacterial photosynthesis in response to low light. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 111(2): E237-244.
  7. Saer, R. G., Pan, J., Hardjasa, A., Lin, S., Rosell, F., Mauk, A. G., Woodbury, N. W., Murphy, M. E. and Beatty, J. T. (2014). Structural and kinetic properties of Rhodobacter sphaeroides photosynthetic reaction centers containing exclusively Zn-coordinated bacteriochlorophyll as bacteriochlorin cofactors. Biochim Biophys Acta 1837(3): 366-374.
  8. Jun, D., Saer, R. G., Madden, J. D. and Beatty, J. T. (2014). Use of new strains of Rhodobacter sphaeroides and a modified simple culture medium to increase yield and facilitate purification of the reaction centre. Photosynth Res 120(1-2): 197-205.
  9. Vasilev, C., Brindley, A. A., Olsen, J. D., Saer, R. G., Beatty, J. T. and Hunter, C. N. (2014). Nano-mechanical mapping of the interactions between surface-bound RC-LH1-PufX core complexes and cytochrome c 2 attached to an AFM probe. Photosynth Res 120(1-2): 169-180.
  10. Seyed, M., Mirvakili, J. E., Slota, A. R., Usgaocar, A. M., Daniel, J., Mehr, N. M., Beatty, J. T. and John D. W. M. (2014). Photoactive Electrodes Incorporating Electrosprayed Bacterial Reaction Centers. Advanced Funct published online.
  11. Westbye, A. B., Leung, M. M., Florizone, S. M., Taylor, T. A., Johnson, J. A., Fogg, P. C. and Beatty, J. T. (2013). Phosphate concentration and the putative sensor kinase protein CckA modulate cell lysis and release of the Rhodobacter capsulatus gene transfer agent. J Bacteriol 195(22): 5025-5040.
  12. Pan, J., Saer, R. G., Lin, S., Guo, Z., Beatty, J. T. and Woodbury, N. W. (2013). The protein environment of the bacteriopheophytin anion modulates charge separation and charge recombination in bacterial reaction centers. J Phys Chem B 117(24): 7179-7189. 
  13. Brimacombe, C. A., Stevens, A., Jun, D., Mercer, R., Lang, A. S. and Beatty, J. T. (2013). Quorum-sensing regulation of a capsular polysaccharide receptor for the Rhodobacter capsulatus gene transfer agent (RcGTA). Mol Microbiol 87(4): 802-817.
  14. Saer, R. G., Hardjasa, A., Rosell, F. I., Mauk, A. G., Murphy, M. E. and Beatty, J. T. (2013). Role of Rhodobacter sphaeroides photosynthetic reaction center residue M214 in the composition, absorbance properties, and conformations of H(A) and B(A) cofactors. Biochemistry 52(13): 2206-2217.
  15. Leung, M. M., Brimacombe, C. A. and Beatty, J. T. (2013). Transcriptional regulation of the Rhodobacter capsulatus response regulator CtrA. Microbiology 159(Pt 1): 96-106.
  16. Neupane, B., Jaschke, P., Saer, R., Beatty, J. T., Reppert, M. and Jankowiak, R. (2012). Electron transfer in Rhodobacter sphaeroides reaction centers containing Zn-bacteriochlorophylls: a hole-burning study. J Phys Chem B 116(10): 3457-3466.
  17. Fogg, P. C., Westbye, A. B. and Beatty, J. T. (2012). One for all or all for one: heterogeneous expression and host cell lysis are key to gene transfer agent activity in Rhodobacter capsulatus. PLoS One 7(8): e43772.
  18. Mercer, R. G., Quinlan, M., Rose, A. R., Noll, S., Beatty, J. T. and Lang, A. S. (2012). Regulatory systems controlling motility and gene transfer agent production and release in Rhodobacter capsulatus. FEMS Microbiol Lett 331(1): 53-62.
  19. Zheng, Q., Zhang, R., Fogg, P. C., Beatty, J. T., Wang, Y. and Jiao, N. (2012). Gain and loss of phototrophic genes revealed by comparison of two Citromicrobium bacterial genomes. PLoS One 7(4): e35790.
  20. Leung, M. M., Brimacombe, C. A., Spiegelman, G. B. and Beatty, J. T. (2012). The GtaR protein negatively regulates transcription of the gtaRI operon and modulates gene transfer agent (RcGTA) expression in Rhodobacter capsulatus. Mol Microbiol 83(4): 759-774.
  21. Yaghoubi, H., Li, Z., Jun, D., Saer, R., Slota, J. E., Beerbom, M., Schlaf, R., Madden, J. D., Beatty, J. T. and Takshi, A. (2012). The role of gold-adsorbed photosynthetic reaction centers and redox mediators in the charge transfer and photocurrent generation in a bio-electrochemical cell. J Phys Chem C 116(47): 24868-77.
  22. Lang, A.S., O. Zhaxybayeva, and J.T. Beatty (2012). Prokaryotic gene transfer agents. Nat Rev Microbiol 10:472-482.
  23. Mahmoudzadeh, A., Saer, R., Jun, D., Mirvakili, S. M., Takshi, A., Iranpour, B., Oullet, E., Lagally, E. T., Madden, J. D. W. and Beatty, J. T. (2011). Photocurrent generation by direct electron transfer using photosynthetic reaction centres. Smart Mater Struct 20: 094019.
  24. Fogg, P. C., Hynes, A. P., Digby, E., Lang, A. S. and Beatty, J. T. (2011). Characterization of a newly discovered Mu-like bacteriophage, RcapMu, in Rhodobacter capsulatus strain SB1003. Virology 421(2): 211-221.
  25. Halsey, C. M., Xiong, J., Oshokoya, O. O., Johnson, J. A., Shinde, S., Beatty, J. T., Ghirlanda, G., JiJi, R. D. and Cooley, J. W. (2011). Simultaneous observation of peptide backbone lipid solvation and alpha-helical structure by deep-UV resonance Raman spectroscopy. Chembiochem 12(14): 2125-2128.
  26. Jaschke, P. R., Hardjasa, A., Digby, E. L., Hunter, C. N. and Beatty, J. T. (2011). A BchD (magnesium chelatase) mutant of rhodobacter sphaeroides synthesizes zinc bacteriochlorophyll through novel zinc-containing intermediates. J Biol Chem 286(23): 20313-20322.
  27. Jaschke, P. R., Saer, R. G., Noll, S. and Beatty, J. T. (2011). Modification of the genome of Rhodobacter sphaeroides and construction of synthetic operons. Methods Enzymol 497: 519-538.
  28. Shelswell, K. J. and Beatty, J. T. (2011). Coordinated, long-range, solid substrate movement of the purple photosynthetic bacterium Rhodobacter capsulatus. PLoS One 6(5): e19646.
  29. Mahmoudzadeh, A. , R. Saer, D. Jun, S.M. Mirvakili, A. Takshi, B. Iranpour, J.D.W. Madden and J.T. Beatty (2011). Direct electron transfer in photosynthetic reaction center-based photovoltaic devices. Smart Material Struct 20:094019.
  30. Mercer, R. G., Callister, S. J., Lipton, M. S., Pasa-Tolic, L., Strnad, H., Paces, V., Beatty, J. T. and Lang, A. S. (2010). Loss of the response regulator CtrA causes pleiotropic effects on gene expression but does not affect growth phase regulation in Rhodobacter capsulatus. J Bacteriol 192(11): 2701-2710.
  31. Leung, M. M., Florizone, S. M., Taylor, T. A., Lang, A. S. and Beatty, J. T. (2010). The gene transfer agent of Rhodobacter capsulatus. Adv Exp Med Biol 675: 253-264.
  32. Li, M., Noll, S. and Beatty, J. T. (2010). Bacteriophytochrome-dependent regulation of light-harvesting complexes in Rhodopseudomonas palustris anaerobic cultures. Curr Microbiol 61(5): 429-434.
  33. Takshi, A., Madden, J. D. W., Mahmoudzadeh, A., Saer, R. and Beatty J. T. (2010). A photovoltaic device using an electrolyte containing photosynthetic reaction centers. Energies 3(11): 1721-1727.
  34. Lang, A.S. and J.T. Beatty (2010). Gene transfer agents and defective bacteriophages as sources of extracellular prokaryotic DNA. In: Kikuchi, Y. and Rykova, E. (eds). Extracellular nucleic acids. Springer.
Protocols by John Thomas Beatty
  1. Construction of Chromosomal In-Frame Deletion Mutants in Rhodobacter capsulatus
  2. Rhodobacter capsulatus Gene Transfer Agent Transduction Assay
  3. Bacterial Conjugation in Rhodobacter capsulatus
  4. Endolysin Expression, Purification and Activity Determination by Zymography
  5. Surface Polysaccharide Extraction and Quantification