Biography

I am a molecular microbiologist and my research has been focussed on the bacterial metabolism of greenhouse gases, bacterial dehalogenation of chlorinated compounds, bacterial genomics and genetics, metagenomics, bioremediation and microbial biotechnology.

During my PhD in the lab of Professor Stéphane Vuilleumier at the Université de Strasbourg, I developed effective bacterial bioindicators and bioreporters to answer ecological questions of bacterial adaptations and responses to environmental stresses. While addressing the bacterial dehalogenative metabolism of chlorinated methanes in a highly important but previously unexplored environment, the plant phyllosphere, I developed the first ever bacterial biosensor to detect chloromethane emissions from plants and soils to overcome the bottleneck of sensitive measurements of chloromethane. Overall this project provided an innovative contribution towards the investigation of the bacterial sink for plant emissions of chloromethane, an atmospheric trace gas responsible for substantial depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer

After completing my PhD, I joined the lab of Professor Jeremy Semrau at the University of Michigan as a postdoctoral research fellow. There I studied the physiology of methanotrophs in order to understand regulatory mechanisms by which methanotrophs sense changes to their environment and the mechanisms they use to survive under those conditions, including uptake mechanisms and impact of various metals on methanotrophic activity and gene expression. During this period, I showed for the first time the lanthanide based metal switch between different forms of methanol dehydrogenases in methanotrophs.

Currently my research in the lab of Professor Colin Murrell is focussed on the exciting and recent area of facultative methanotrophy. Recently discovered and unique methane oxidising bugs like Methyocella, can not only utilise methane but also other multi-carbon compounds including short chain alkanes like ethane and propane. I will be exploring the metabolic flexibility of these facultative methanotrophs at genetic and biomolecular levels. I will also test, the diversity and abundance of facultative methanotrophs in various environments, and that they play an important role in the biogeochemical cycling of the major components of natural gas like methane, ethane and propane.

Academic Background

PhD (2013) Molecular and Cellular Biology
University of Strasbourg (France)
Thesis title: Investigations of the bacterial sink for plant emissions of chloromethane
Advisors: Prof. Stéphane Vuilleumier and Dr. Hubert Schaller
Master II (2009) Biology, Geoscience, Agri-resources and Environment
University of Montpellier II (France)
Thesis title: Function, structure and population dynamics of two diuron-degrading microbial consortia
Advisor: Prof. Benoit Jaillard and Prof. Stéphane Vuilleumier

All Publications

Wang, J., Geng, K., Farhan Ul Haque, M., Crombie, A., Street, L. E., Wookey, P. A., Ma, K., Murrell, J. C., Pratscher, J.

(2018)

Draft Genome Sequence of Methylocella silvestris TVC, a Facultative Methanotroph Isolated from Permafrost,

in Genome Announcements

6

(8)

article no. e00040-18

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Farhan Ul Haque, M., Besaury, L., Nadalig, T., Bringel, F., Mutterer, J., Schaller, H., Vuilleumier, S.

(2017)

Correlated production and consumption of chloromethane in the Arabidopsis thaliana phyllosphere,

in Scientific Reports

7

(1)

article no. 17589

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Lu, X., Gu, W., Zhao, L., Farhan Ul Haque, M., DiSpirito, A., Semrau, J., Gu, B.

(2017)

Methylmercury uptake and degradation by methanotrophs,

in Science Advances

3

(5)

article no. e1700041

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Farhan Ul Haque, M., Gu, W., Baral, B. S., DiSpirito, A. A., Semrau, J. D.

(2017)

Carbon source regulation of gene expression in Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b,

in Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

101

(9)

pp. 3871-3879

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Gu, W., Farhan Ul Haque, M., Semrau, J. D.

(2017)

Characterization of the role of copCD in copper uptake and the ‘copper-switch’ in Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b,

in FEMS Microbiology Letters

364

(10)

article no. fnx094

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Gu, W., Farhan Ul Haque, M., DiSpirito, A. A., Semrau, J. D.

(2016)

Uptake and effect of rare earth elements on gene expression in Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b,

in FEMS Microbiology Letters

363

(13)

article no. fnw129

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Gu, W., Farhan Ul Haque, M., Baral, B. S., Turpin, E. A., Bandow, N. L., Kremmer, E., Flatley, A., Zischka, H., DiSpirIto, A. A., Semrau, J. D.

(2016)

A TonB-dependent Transporter is Responsible for Methanobactin Uptake by Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b,

in Applied and Environmental Microbiology

82

(6)

pp. 1917-1923

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Farhan Ul Haque, M., Gu, W., DiSpirito, A. A., Semrau, J. D.

(2016)

Marker Exchange Mutagenesis of mxaF, Encoding the Large Subunit of the Mxa Methanol Dehydrogenase, in Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b,

in Applied and Environmental Microbiology

82

(5)

pp. 1549-1555

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Farhan Ul Haque, M., Kalidass, B., Bandow, N., Turpin, E. A., DiSpirito, A. A., Semrau, J. D.

(2015)

Cerium regulates expression of alternative methanol dehydrogenases in Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b,

in Applied and Environmental Microbiology

81

(21)

pp. 7546-7552

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Farhan Ul Haque, M., Kalidass, B., Vorobev, A., Baral, B. S., DiSpirito, A. A., Semrau, J. D.

(2015)

Methanobactin from Methylocystis sp. Strain SB2 Affects Gene Expression and Methane Monooxygenase Activity in Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b,

in Applied and Environmental Microbiology

81

(7)

pp. 2466-2473

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Kalidass, B., Farhan Ul Haque, M., Baral, B. S., DiSpirito, A. A., Semrau, J. D.

(2015)

Competition between Metals for Binding to Methanobactin Enables Expression of Soluble Methane Monooxygenase in the Presence of Copper,

in Applied and Environmental Microbiology

81

(3)

pp. 1024-1031

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Farhan Ul Haque, M., Nadalig, T., Bringel, F., Schaller, H., Vuilleumier, S.

(2013)

Fluorescence-Based Bacterial Bioreporter for Specific Detection of Methyl Halide Emissions in the Environment,

in Applied and Environmental Microbiology

79

(21)

pp. 6561-6567

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Marx, C. J., Bringel, F., Chistoserdova, L., Moulin, L., Farhan Ul Haque, M., Fleischman, D. E., Gruffaz, C., Jourand, P., Knief, C., Lee, M., Muller, E. E. L., Nadalig, T., Peyraud, R., Roselli, S., Russ, L., Goodwin, L. A., Ivanova, N., Kyrpides, N., Lajus, A., Land, M. L., Médigue, C., Mikhailova, N., Nolan, M., Woyke, T., Stolyar, S., Vorholt, J. A., Vuilleumier, S.

(2012)

Complete genome sequences of six strains of the genus Methylobacterium,

in Journal of Bacteriology

194

(10)

pp. 4746-4748

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Vuilleumier, S., Nadalig, T., Farhan Ul Haque, M., Magdelenat, G., Lajus, A., Roselli, S., Muller, E. E., Gruffaz, C., Barbe, V., Médigue, C., Bringel, F.

(2011)

Complete genome sequence of the chloromethane-degrading strain Hyphomicrobium sp. strain MC1,

in Journal of Bacteriology

193

(18)

pp. 5035-5036

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Nadalig, T., Farhan Ul Haque, M., Roselli, S., Schaller, H., Bringel, F., Vuilleumier, S.

(2011)

Detection and isolation of chloromethane-degrading bacteria from the Arabidopsis thaliana phyllosphere, and characterization of chloromethane utilisation genes,

in FEMS Microbiology Ecology

77

(2)

pp. 438-448

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Bois, P., Huguenot, D., Norini, M., Farhan Ul Haque, M., Vuilleumier, S., Lebeau, T.

(2011)

Herbicide degradation and copper complexation by bacterial mixed cultures from a vineyard stormwater basin,

in Journal of Soils and Sediments

11

(5)

pp. 860-873

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Key Research Interests

• Environmental molecular microbiology and biotechnology
• Microbial metabolism of one carbon (C1) compounds and greenhouse gases
• Microbial ecology, genetics and physiology of methanotrophs and methylotrophs
• Functional genomics, metagenomics and transcriptomics of bacteria

Professional Experience

Senior Research Associate (Feb 2017 – present)
School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, England
• Microbial metabolism of methane and short chain alkanes
• Microbial ecology and genetics of facultative methanotrophs
• Functional genomics and transcriptomics of bacteria oxidizing natural gas
• Methane mitigation at landfill cover soils

Postdoctoral research fellow (April 2014 – June 2016)
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan (USA)
• Microbial metabolism of one carbon compounds (methane, methanol etc.)
• Study of genetic expressions in methanotrophic bacteria as impacted by carbon sources and various metals
• Regulatory mechanisms of copper and lanthanides dependent switches of key enzymes in methanotrophic bacteria
• Detoxification of mercury by methanotrophic bacteria
• Genetic engineering of bacterial strains to convert methane into liquid biofuels

Graduate research assistant (Jan 2009 – Sep 2013)
Department of Microorganisms, Genomes and Environment, UMR-7156, CNRS-University of Strasbourg (France)
• Microbiology of plants and soils, Isolation and characterization of bacterial strains
• Bacterial metabolism of volatile compounds (chloromethane, methanol etc.)
• Microbial adaptations in various environments
• Design and construction of bacterial bioreporters to detect harmful substances in different environments
• Bioremediation of pesticides
• Comparative genomics of chloromethane degrading strains