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Otago Medical School staff profiles

Dr John Sullivan

PositionResearch Fellow
DepartmentDepartment of Microbiology and Immunology
QualificationsBSc (Hons) PhD (Otago)
Research summaryBacterial and Viral Genetics

Research

Working in Professor Clive Ronson's laboratory. My research focuses on Rhizobium Bacterial and Viral Genetics, including: defining the minimal microsymbiont complement and novel plant genes required to build a root nodule; functional genomics of the Mesorhizobium symbiosis island; microbial genomics; and Rhizobia and sustainable agriculture.

Publications

Verdonk, C. J., Sullivan, J. T., Williman, K. M., Nicholson, L., Bastholm, T. R., Hynes, M. F., Ronson, C. W., … Ramsay, J. P. (2019). Delineation of the integrase-attachment and origin-of-transfer regions of the symbiosis island ICEMlSymR7A. Plasmid. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.plasmid.2019.102416

Kelly, S., Sullivan, J. T., Kawaharada, Y., Radutoiu, S., Ronson, C. W., & Stougaard, J. (2018). Regulation of Nod factor biosynthesis by alternative NodD proteins at distinct stages of symbiosis provides additional compatibility scrutiny. Environmental Microbiology, 20(1), 97-110. doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.14006

Haskett, T. L., Ramsay, J. P., Bekuma, A. A., Sullivan, J. T., O'Hara, G. W., & Terpolilli, J. J. (2017). Evolutionary persistence of tripartite integrative and conjugative elements. Plasmid, 92, 30-36. doi: 10.1016/j.plasmid.2017.06.001

Haskett, T. L., Terpolilli, J. J., Bekuma, A., O'Hara, G. W., Sullivan, J. T., Wang, P., Ronson, C. W., & Ramsay, J. P. (2016). Assembly and transfer of tripartite integrative and conjugative genetic elements. PNAS, 113(42), 12268-12273. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1613358113

Muszyński, A., Heiss, C., Hjuler, C. T., Sullivan, J. T., Kelly, S. J., Thygesen, M. B., … Ronson, C. W. (2016). Structures of exopolysaccharides involved in receptor-mediated perception of Mesorhizobium loti by Lotus japonicus. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 291(40), 20946-20961. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M116.743856

Chapter in Book - Research

Ronson, C. W., Hynes, M. F., Ramsay, J. P., & Sullivan, J. T. (2013). Symbiosis islands. In S. Maloy & K. Hughes (Eds.), Brenner's encyclopedia of genetics. (2nd ed.) (pp. 598-600). London, UK: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-374984-0.01497-2

Ronson, C. W., Sullivan, J. T., Wijkstra, G. S., Carlton, T. M., Muirhead, K., Trzebiatowski, J. R., … de Bruijn, F. J. (2002). Genome diversity at the PHE-tRNA locus in a field population of mesorhizobia. In T. Finan, M. O'Brian, D. Layzell, J. Vessey & W. Newton (Eds.), Nitrogen Fixation: Global Perspectives. (pp. 66-74). New York and Oxford: CABI Publishing.

Ronson, C. W., Sullivan, J. T., Trzebiatowski, J. R., Gouzy, J., & de Bruijn, F. J. (2002). Comparative genomics of the symbiosis islands of Mesorhizobium loti. In S. A. Leong, C. Allen & E. W. Triplett (Eds.), Biology of Plant-Microbe Interactions: Volume 3. (pp. 325-330). St Paul, Minnesota, USA: International Society for Molecular Plant Microbes Interactions.

de Bruijn, F. J., Ampe, F., Batut, J., Berges, H., Davalos, M., Davey, M., … Ronson, C. W., … Sullivan, J. T., … Vriezen, C. (2002). Genetics and genomics of stress - Induced gene expression in rhizobia. In T. Finan, M. O'Brian, D. Layzell, K. Vessey & W. Newton (Eds.), Nitrogen Fixation: Global Perspectives. (pp. 75-79). Oxford and New York: CABI Publishing.

Ronson, C. W., & Sullivan, J. T. (2001). Symbiosis islands. In S. Brenner & J. H. Miller (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Genetics. (pp. 1902-1903). London: Academic Press.

Sullivan, J. T., Trzebiatowski, J. R., de Bruijn, F. J., & Ronson, C. W. (2000). The symbiosis island of a Mesorhizobium strain that nodulates Lotus. In E. W. Triplett (Ed.), Prokaryotic Nitrogen Fixation: A Model System for Analysis of a Biological Process. (pp. 693-704). Wymondham, UK: Horizon Scientific Press.

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Journal - Research Article

Verdonk, C. J., Sullivan, J. T., Williman, K. M., Nicholson, L., Bastholm, T. R., Hynes, M. F., Ronson, C. W., … Ramsay, J. P. (2019). Delineation of the integrase-attachment and origin-of-transfer regions of the symbiosis island ICEMlSymR7A. Plasmid. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.plasmid.2019.102416

Kelly, S., Sullivan, J. T., Kawaharada, Y., Radutoiu, S., Ronson, C. W., & Stougaard, J. (2018). Regulation of Nod factor biosynthesis by alternative NodD proteins at distinct stages of symbiosis provides additional compatibility scrutiny. Environmental Microbiology, 20(1), 97-110. doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.14006

Haskett, T. L., Ramsay, J. P., Bekuma, A. A., Sullivan, J. T., O'Hara, G. W., & Terpolilli, J. J. (2017). Evolutionary persistence of tripartite integrative and conjugative elements. Plasmid, 92, 30-36. doi: 10.1016/j.plasmid.2017.06.001

Haskett, T. L., Terpolilli, J. J., Bekuma, A., O'Hara, G. W., Sullivan, J. T., Wang, P., Ronson, C. W., & Ramsay, J. P. (2016). Assembly and transfer of tripartite integrative and conjugative genetic elements. PNAS, 113(42), 12268-12273. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1613358113

Muszyński, A., Heiss, C., Hjuler, C. T., Sullivan, J. T., Kelly, S. J., Thygesen, M. B., … Ronson, C. W. (2016). Structures of exopolysaccharides involved in receptor-mediated perception of Mesorhizobium loti by Lotus japonicus. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 291(40), 20946-20961. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M116.743856

Ramsay, J. P., Tester, L. G. L., Major, A. S., Sullivan, J. T., Edgar, C. D., Kleffmann, T., … Tate, W. P., … Ronson, C. W. (2015). Ribosomal frameshifting and dual-target antiactivation restrict quorum-sensing–activated transfer of a mobile genetic element. PNAS, 112(3), 4104-4109. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1501574112

Reeve, W., Sullivan, J., Ronson, C., Tian, R., Munk, C., Han, C., … Kyrpides, N. (2015). High-quality draft genome sequence of the Lotus spp. microsymbiont Mesorhizobium loti strain CJ3Sym. Standards in Genomic Sciences, 10, 54. doi: 10.1186/s40793-015-0049-2

Maolanon, N. N., Blaise, M., Sørensen, K. K., Thygesen, M. B., Cló, E., Sullivan, J. T., Ronson, C. W., … Jensen, K. J. (2014). Lipochitin oligosaccharides immobilized through oximes in glycan microarrays bind LysM proteins. ChemBioChem, 15(3), 425-434. doi: 10.1002/cbic.201300520

Kelly, S., Sullivan, J., Ronson, C., Tian, R., Bräu, L., Davenport, K., … Reeve, W. (2014). Genome sequence of the Lotus spp. microsymbiont Mesorhizobium loti strain NZP2037. Standards in Genomic Sciences, 9, 7. doi: 10.1186/1944-3277-9-7

Reeve, W., Sullivan, J., Ronson, C., Tian, R., Bräu, L., Davenport, K., … Kyrpides, N. (2014). Genome sequence of the Lotus corniculatus microsymbiont Mesorhizobium loti strain R88B. Standards in Genomic Sciences, 9, 3. doi: 10.1186/1944-3277-9-3

Östermann, J., Marsh, J., Laine, P. K., Zeng, Z., Alatalo, E., Sullivan, J. T., … Lindström, K. (2014). Genome sequencing of two Neorhizobium galegae strains reveals a noeT gene responsible for the unusual acetylation of the nodulation factors. BMC Genomics, 15(1), 500. doi: 10.1186/1471-2164-15-500

Kelly, S., Sullivan, J., Ronson, C., Tian, R., Bräu, L., Munk, C., … Reeve, W. (2014). Genome sequence of the Lotus spp. microsymbiont Mesorhizobium loti strain R7A. Standards in Genomic Sciences, 9, 6. doi: 10.1186/1944-3277-9-6

Sullivan, J. T., Brown, S. D., & Ronson, C. W. (2013). The NifA-RpoN regulon of Mesorhizobium loti strain R7A and its symbiotic activation by a novel LacI/GalR-family regulator. PLoS ONE, 8(1), e53762. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0053762

Ramsay, J. P., Major, A. S., Komarovsky, V. M., Sullivan, J. T., Dy, R. L., Hynes, M. F., … Ronson, C. W. (2013). A widely conserved molecular switch controls quorum sensing and symbiosis island transfer in Mesorhizobium loti through expression of a novel antiactivator. Molecular Microbiology, 87(1), 1-13. doi: 10.1111/mmi.12079

Kelly, S. J., Muszyński, A., Kawaharada, Y., Hubber, A. M., Sullivan, J. T., Sandal, N., … Ronson, C. W. (2013). Conditional requirement for exopolysaccharide in the Mesorhizobium-Lotus symbiosis. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, 26(3), 319-329. doi: 10.1094/mpmi-09-12-0227-r

Broghammer, A., Krusell, L., Blaise, M., Sauer, J., Sullivan, J. T., Maolanon, N., … Ronson, C. W., … Stougaard, J. (2012). Legume receptors perceive the rhizobial lipochitin oligosaccharide signal molecules by direct binding. PNAS, 109(34), 13859-13864. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1205171109

Madsen, L. H., Tirichine, L., Jurkiewicz, A., Sullivan, J. T., Heckmann, A. B., Bek, A. S., Ronson, C. W., … Stougaard, J. (2010). The molecular network governing nodule organogenesis and infection in the model legume Lotus japonicus. Nature Communications, 1. doi: 10.1038/ncomms1009

Ott, T., Sullivan, J., James, E. K., Flemetakis, E., Günther, C., Gibon, Y., Ronson, C., & Udvardi, M. (2009). Absence of symbiotic leghemoglobins alters bacteroid and plant cell differentiation during development of Lotus japonicus root nodules. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, 22(7), 800-808. doi: 10.1094/MPMI-22-7-0800

Rodpothong, P., Sullivan, J. T., Songsrirote, K., Sumpton, D., Cheung, K. W. J.-T., Thomas-Oates, J., … Ronson, C. W. (2009). Nodulation gene mutants of Mesorhizobium loti R7A—nodZ and nolL mutants have host-specific phenotypes on Lotus spp. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, 22(12), 1546-1554. doi: 10.1094/MPMI-22-12-1546

Ramsay, J. P., Sullivan, J. T., Jambari, N., Ortori, C. A., Heeb, S., Williams, P., … Lamont, I. L., & Ronson, C. W. (2009). A LuxRI-family regulatory system controls excision and transfer of the Mesorhizobium loti strain R7A symbiosis island by activating expression of two conserved hypothetical genes. Molecular Microbiology, 73(6), 1141-1155. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2009.06843.x

Miller, S. H., Elliot, R. M., Sullivan, J. T., & Ronson, C. W. (2007). Host-specific regulation of symbiotic nitrogen fixation in Rhizobium leguminosarum biovar trifolii. Microbiology, 153, 3184-3195.

Hubber, A. M., Sullivan, J. T., & Ronson, C. W. (2007). Symbiosis-induced cascade regulation of the Mesorhizobium loti R7A VirB/D4 type IV secretion system. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, 20(3), 255-261.

Carlton, T. M., Sullivan, J. T., Stuart, G. S., Hutt, K., Lamont, I. L., & Ronson, C. W. (2007). Ferrichrome utilization in a mesorhizobial population: Microevolution of a three-locus system. Environmental Microbiology, 9(12), 2923-2932.

Ramsay, J. P., Sullivan, J. T., Stuart, G. S., Lamont, I. L., & Ronson, C. W. (2006). Excision and transfer of the Mesorhizobium loti R7A symbiosis island requires an integrase IntS, a novel recombination directionality factor RdfS, and a putative relaxase RlxS. Molecular Microbiology, 62(3), 723-734. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2006.05396.x

Hubber, A., Vergunst, A. C., Sullivan, J. T., Hooykaas, P. J. J., & Ronson, C. W. (2004). Symbiotic phenotypes and translocated effector proteins of the Mesorhizobium loti strain R7A VirB/D4 type IV secretion system. Molecular Microbiology, 54(2), 561-574.

Sullivan, J. T., Trzebiatowski, J. R., Cruickshank, R. W., Gouzy, J., Brown, S. D., Elliot, R. M., Fleetwood, D. J., McCallum, N. G., … Stuart, G. S., Weaver, J. E., Webby, R. J., … Ronson, C. W. (2002). Comparative sequence analysis of the symbiosis island of Mesorhizobium loti strain R7A. Journal of Bacteriology, 184(11), 3086-3095. doi: 10.1128/JB.184.11.3086-3095.2002

Keis, S., Sullivan, J. T., & Jones, D. T. (2001). Physical and genetic map of the Clostridium saccharobutylicum (formerly Clostridium acetobutylicum) NCP 262 chromosome. Microbiology, 147, 1909-1922.

Sullivan, J. T., Brown, S. D., Yocum, R. R., & Ronson, C. W. (2001). The bio operon on the acquired symbiosis island of Mesorhizobium sp. strain R7A includes a novel gene involved in pimeloyl-CoA synthesis. Microbiology, 147, 1315-1322.

Sullivan, J. T., & Ronson, C. W. (1998). Evolution of Rhizobia by acquisition of a 500-kb symbiosis island that integrates into a phe-tRNA gene. PNAS, 95, 5145-5149.

Kadrmas, J. L., Allaway, D., Studholme, R. E., Sullivan, J. T., Ronson, C. W., Poole, P. R., & Raetz, C. R. (1998). Cloning and overexpression of glycosyltransferases that generate the lipopolysaccharide core of Rhizobium leguminosarum. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 273(41), 26432-26440.

Sullivan, J. T., Eardly, B. D., van Berkum, P., & Ronson, C. W. (1996). Four unnamed species of nonsymbiotic rhizobia isolated from the rhizosphere of Lotus corniculatus. Applied & Environmental Microbiology, 62, 2818-2825.

Mercer, A. A., Green, G., Sullivan, J. T., Robinson, A. J., & Drillien, R. (1996). Location, DNA sequence and transcriptional analysis of the DNA polymerase gene of orf virus. Journal of General Virology, 77, 1563-1568.

Mercer, A. A., Lyttle, D. J., Whelan, E., Fleming, S. B., & Sullivan, J. T. (1995). The establishment of a genetic map of orf virus reveals a pattern of genomic organisation that is highly conserved among divergent poxviruses. Virology, 212, 698-704.

Fleming, S. B., Lyttle, D. J., Sullivan, J. T., Mercer, A. A., & Robinson, A. J. (1995). Genomic analysis of transposition-deletion variant of orf virus reveals a 3.3 kbp region of non-essential DNA. Journal of General Virology, 76, 2969-2978.

Sullivan, J. T., Fleming, S. B., Robinson, A. J., & Mercer, A. A. (1995). Sequence and transcriptional analysis of a near-terminal region of the orf virus genome. Virus Genes, 11, 21-29.

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