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Jose R. de la Torre

I am an assistant professor in the Department of Biology at San Francisco State University. My Lab studies the physiology, ecology and evolution of a group of microorganisms called the Archaea. In particular, we are interested in a group of Archaea that make their living by oxidizing ammonia to nitrite. These Ammonia-Oxidizing Archaea (AOA) are extrmeley abundant in marine environments, with some scientists estimating they account for nearly 20% of all the bacterioplankton in the world's oceans.

Recently, we have identified relatives of these marine AOA living in the hydrothermal hot springs in Yellowstone National Park. We are currently studying the physiology and genomics of these thermophilic AOA to get a better understanding of the ecological distribution and evolution of the AOA.

Contact Info

Mailing Address
Jose R. de la Torre
Department of Biology
534 Hensill Hall
San Francisco State University
San Francisco, CA 94132


jdelator at sfsu.edu


  • 2003-2008 Research Associate, University of Washington, Seattle. Advisor: David Stahl.
  • 2000-2003 Postdoctoral Researcher, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI). Advisor: Ed DeLong.
  • 1998-2000 Postdoctoral Scholar, University of California, Berkeley. Advisor: Norman Pace.
  • 1998 Ph. D. University of California, San Francisco. Advisor: Marc Tessier-Lavigne.
  • 1990 B. A. University of California, Berkeley.



  1. de la Torre JR, Walker CB, Ingalls AE, Könneke M, and Stahl DA. Cultivation of a thermophilic ammonia oxidizing archaeon synthesizing crenarchaeol. Environ Microbiol. 2008 Mar;10(3):810-8. DOI:10.1111/j.1462-2920.2007.01506.x | PubMed ID:18205821 | HubMed [delaTorre-2008]
  2. Foesel BU, Gieseke A, Schwermer C, Stief P, Koch L, Cytryn E, de la Torré JR, van Rijn J, Minz D, Drake HL, and Schramm A. Nitrosomonas Nm143-like ammonia oxidizers and Nitrospira marina-like nitrite oxidizers dominate the nitrifier community in a marine aquaculture biofilm. FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2008 Feb;63(2):192-204. DOI:10.1111/j.1574-6941.2007.00418.x | PubMed ID:18093145 | HubMed [Foesel-2007]
  3. Hallam SJ, Konstantinidis KT, Putnam N, Schleper C, Watanabe Y, Sugahara J, Preston C, de la Torre J, Richardson PM, and DeLong EF. Genomic analysis of the uncultivated marine crenarchaeote Cenarchaeum symbiosum. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Nov 28;103(48):18296-301. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0608549103 | PubMed ID:17114289 | HubMed [Hallam-2006]
  4. Könneke M, Bernhard AE, de la Torre JR, Walker CB, Waterbury JB, and Stahl DA. Isolation of an autotrophic ammonia-oxidizing marine archaeon. Nature. 2005 Sep 22;437(7058):543-6. DOI:10.1038/nature03911 | PubMed ID:16177789 | HubMed [Konneke-2005]
  5. Suzuki MT, Preston CM, Béjà O, de la Torre JR, Steward GF, and DeLong EF. Phylogenetic screening of ribosomal RNA gene-containing clones in Bacterial Artificial Chromosome (BAC) libraries from different depths in Monterey Bay. Microb Ecol. 2004 Nov;48(4):473-88. DOI:10.1007/s00248-004-0213-5 | PubMed ID:15696381 | HubMed [Suzuki-2004]
  6. de la Torre JR, Christianson LM, Béjà O, Suzuki MT, Karl DM, Heidelberg J, and DeLong EF. Proteorhodopsin genes are distributed among divergent marine bacterial taxa. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Oct 28;100(22):12830-5. DOI:10.1073/pnas.2133554100 | PubMed ID:14566056 | HubMed [delaTorre-2003a]
  7. de la Torre JR, Goebel BM, Friedmann EI, and Pace NR. Microbial diversity of cryptoendolithic communities from the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2003 Jul;69(7):3858-67. DOI:10.1128/AEM.69.7.3858-3867.2003 | PubMed ID:12839754 | HubMed [delaTorre-2003b]
  8. de la Torre JR, Höpker VH, Ming GL, Poo MM, Tessier-Lavigne M, Hemmati-Brivanlou A, and Holt CE. Turning of retinal growth cones in a netrin-1 gradient mediated by the netrin receptor DCC. Neuron. 1997 Dec;19(6):1211-24. DOI:10.1016/s0896-6273(00)80413-4 | PubMed ID:9427245 | HubMed [delaTorre-1997]
  9. Kennedy TE, Serafini T, de la Torre JR, and Tessier-Lavigne M. Netrins are diffusible chemotropic factors for commissural axons in the embryonic spinal cord. Cell. 1994 Aug 12;78(3):425-35. DOI:10.1016/0092-8674(94)90421-9 | PubMed ID:8062385 | HubMed [Kennedy-1994]
  10. Hemmati-Brivanlou A, de la Torre JR, Holt C, and Harland RM. Cephalic expression and molecular characterization of Xenopus En-2. Development. 1991 Mar;111(3):715-24. DOI:10.1242/dev.111.3.715 | PubMed ID:1679005 | HubMed [Hemmati-Brivanlou-1991]

All Medline abstracts: PubMed | HubMed