User:Rachael M. Morgan-Kiss

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Rachael M. Morgan-Kiss

Assistant Professor
Department of Microbiology
Miami University
44 Pearson Hall
Oxford, Ohio, 45056

Hello, this is the MORGAN-KISS LAB site in Department of Microbiology at Miami University.

Student Opportunities

We are currently recruiting new Ph. D. positions for Fall 2013. Their projects will be part of a 5-year study to understand function and diversity of protists in Antarctic lakes (NSF-1056396). Applicants are encouraged to apply to one of the following graduate programs at Miami University (Oxford, Ohio): Ph. D. program in Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology (EEEB) EEEB website or the Ph. D. program in the Department of Microbiology Microbiology website. Please contact Dr. Rachael Morgan-Kiss ( for more details.

2011-2012 Antarctic Field Team 2010-2011 Antarctic Field Team

Undergraduate teaching and research:

Dr. Morgan-Kiss recently taught a laboratory in Microbial Ecology. Check out the Utube video of the students working with Antarctic samples: Microbial Ecology Class. For more videos on undergraduate students participating in Antarctic field seasons: Dry Valley Research

Lab Members

Rachael Morgan-Kiss, PI
Wei Li, EEEB Ph.D. Student
Amber Siebenaler Microbiology M.Sc. Student
Jenna Dolhi, Microbiology Ph.D. Student
Nicholas Ketchum, Undergraduate
Alex Loomis, Undergraduate
Melissa Morris, Undergraduate
William Poindexter, Undergraduate

Former Members

Sarah Jaffri (M.S.) Microbiology Technician, Mars Foods
Weidong Kong (Postdoc) Senior Scientist, University of California
Scott Bielewicz (B.A.) Clinical Lab Technician, Cincinnati Children's Hospital
Patrick Feasel (B.A.) Medical school, Wright State
Donald Holter (B.A.) Graduate School, Ohio State University
Audrey Lloyd (B.A.), Medical School OSU
Triratana Sanguanbun (B.A.)

Research Interests

<font=6>Polar Microbiology, Physiology and Ecology

1. Environmental adaptation of the enzyme RubisCO in cold adapted microalgae.

2. Oxidative stress response in psychrophilic microorganisms.

3. Effect of temperature on circadian response in temperate and cold adapted microalgae.

4. Development of low temperature tolerant microalgal strains as biofuel producers.Lab on YouTube
5. Diversity of autotrophic microorganisms in chemically stratified Antarctic lakes.
6. Quantitative real-time PCR detection of functional genes in aquatic communities.
7. Diversity and trophic function of microbial eukaryotes in oligotrophic (Antarctic) versus eutrophic (Ohio) lakes.
8. Enrichment and isolation of autotrophic organisms from Antarctic lakes.

Funded Projects

2007-2010 IPY Polar Night Project IPY


2011-2016 CAREER: Protist Nutritional Strategies in Permanently Stratified Antarctic Lakes (ANT-1056396)
Antarctic Field Season Blog: [[1]]

Education and Training

University of Victoria, Victoria Canada, Biology, B.Sc. 1995

[Norm Huner's Lab]University of Western Ontario, London Canada, Plant Physiology, Ph.D. 2000

[John Cronan's Lab]University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Microbiology, Postdoctoral Fellow. 2001-2005

[John Priscu's Group]Research Consultant, McMurdo Long Term Ecological Research Site, Taylor Dry Valleys, Antarctica 2005

[Tom Hanson's Lab]University of Delaware, Newark, Microbiology, Research Associate. 2006-2007


In 2012

  1. Kong W, Dolhi JM, Chiuchiolo A, Priscu JC & Morgan-Kiss RM (2012) High diversity of form II RubisCOs in the Antarctic lake, Lake Bonney. FEMS Microbiol Ecol In revision.
  2. DolhiJM, Ketchum N., Morgan-Kiss R.M. (2012) Establishment of microbial eukaryotic enrichment cultures from a chemically stratified Antarctic lake and assessment of carbon fixation potential. Journal of Visual Experiments. In press.
  3. Kong W, Ream DC, Priscu JC, Morgan-Kiss RM (2012) RubisCO lineages in a perennially ice-covered Antarctic lake during the polar night transition. Applied Environmental Microbiology In presslink

In 2011

  1. Bielewicz S., Kong W., Bell E.,Iddo F., Priscu JC and Morgan-Kiss RM (2011) Distribution of micro-eukaryotes during the transition to polar night in a permanently ice-covered Antarctic lake. ISME Journal In press File:Bielewicz ISMEJ 2011.pdf File:Bielewicz ISMEJ 2011 supp.pdf
  2. Morgan-Kiss R.M. and Dolhi J.D.(2011) Microorganisms and Plants: a Photosynthetic Perspective. In: Storey, K. & Tanino, K. [Eds.] Nature at Risk: Temperature in a Changing Climate. CABI Invited Chapter. 20 pp. In press.

In 2010

  1. Jiang Y, Morgan-Kiss RM, Campbell, J, Chan, CH, Cronan, J (2010) Expression of Vibrio harveyi Acyl-ACP synthetase allows entry of exogenous fatty acids into the Escherchia coli fatty acid and lipid A synthetic pathways. Biochemistry. 49(4):718-726 [link]
  2. Jaraula CMB, Brassell SC, Morgan-Kiss RM, Doran PT, Kenig F (2010) Origin and tentative identification of tri to pentaunsaturated keytones in sediments of Lake Fryxell, East Antarctica. Organic Geochemistry. 41:386-397 [link]
  3. Kiss AJ, Devries AL, Morgan-Kiss RM (2010) Comparative analysis of crystallins and lipids from the lens of Antarctic toothfish and cow. Journal of Comparative Physiology B In press [link]
  4. Hanson TE, Morgan-Kiss RM, Chan, LK, Hiras, J (2010) Beyond the genome: functional studies of phototrophic sulfur oxidation. In: Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, Springer 675: 109-121link

In 2009

  1. Morgan-Kiss RM, Chan LK, Weber TS, Modla S. Czymmek K, Hanson TE (2009) Chlorobaculum tepidum regulates chlorosome structure and function in response to temperature and electron donor availability. Photosynth. Res. 99:11-21[link]
  2. Chan LK, Morgan-Kiss RM, Hanson TE (2009) Functional analysis of three sulfide:quinone oxidoreductase homologs in Chlorobaculum tepidum. Journal of Bacteriology 191:1026-1034[link]

In 2008

  1. Chan LK, Weber TS, Morgan-Kiss RM, Hanson TE (2008) A Genomic region required for phototrophic thiosulfate oxidation in the green sulfur bacterium Chlorobium tepidum (syn. Chlorobaculum tepidum). Microbiol. 154:818-829
  2. Morgan-Kiss RM, Ivanov AG, Modla S, Czymmek K, Hüner NPA, Priscu JC, Lisle JT, Hanson, TE (2008) Identity and physiology of a new psychrophilic eukaryotic green alga, Chlorella BI sp., isolated from a transitory pond near Bratina Island, Antarctica. Extremophiles 12(5): 701-711 [link]
  3. Morgan-Kiss RM, Cronan Jr. JE (2008) The Lactococcus lactis FabF fatty acid synthetic enzyme can functionally replace both the FabB and FabF proteins of Escherichia coli and the FabH protein of Lactococcus lactis. Arch. Microbiol. 190:427-437[Link]
  4. Chan LK, Morgan-Kiss R and Hanson TE. Genetic and proteomic studies of sulfur oxidation in Chlorobium tepidum (syn. Chlorobaculum tepidum). In Sulfur metabolism in phototrophic organisms. Edited by R. Hell, C. Dahl, T. Leustek and D. Knaff. New York, N.Y.: Springer 2008; 363-379.

In 2007

  1. Chan LK, Morgan-Kiss R, Hanson TE (2007) Sulfur oxidation in Chlorobium tepidum (syn. Chlorobaculum tepidum): genetic and proteomic analyses. . In C Dahl, CG Friedrich, eds, Microbial Sulfur Metabolism. Springer, New York, N.Y., pp 117-126

In 2006

  1. Morgan-Kiss RM, Priscu JC, Pocock T, Gudnaite-Savich L, Hüner NPA (2006) Adaptation and acclimation of photosynthetic microorganisms to permanently cold environments. Microbiol. Molec. Biol. Rev. 70:222-252.[Link]
  2. Gudynaite-Savitch L, Gretes M, Morgan-Kiss RM, Savich LV, Simmonds J, Kohalmi SE, Huner NPA (2006) Cytochrome f from the Antarctic psychrophile, Chlamydomonas raudensis UWO241: structure, sequence, and complementation in the mesophile, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Molec. Genet. Genom. 275:387-398

In 2005

  1. Morgan-Kiss RM, Ivanov A. G., Pocock T., Gudynaite-Savitch L., Hüner N. P. (2005) The Antarctic psychrophile, Chlamydomonas raudensis Ettl (UWO241) (Chlorophyceae, Chlorophyta) exhibits a limited capacity to photoacclimate to red light. J Phycol. 41 (4): 791-80
  2. Ivanov AG, Krol M., Apostolova E., Morgan-Kiss RM, Naydenova N, Huner NPA, Sane PV (2005) Oligomerization state of LHCII modulates the redox properties of the acceptor side of photosysytem II in Costata 2/133 mutant of pea, Physiol. Molec. Biol. Plants 11: 199-207.

In 2004

  1. Morgan-Kiss RM, Cronan Jr. JE (2004) The Escherichia coli fadK (ydiD) gene encodes an aerobically-regulated short-chain acyl-CoA synthetase. J. Biol. Chem. 279:37324-37333.

In 2003

  1. Campbell JW, Morgan-Kiss RM, Cronan Jr. JE (2003) A new Escherichia coli metabolic competency: growth on fatty acids by a novel anaerobic β-oxidation pathway. Molec. Microbiol. 47:793-805.

In 2002

  1. Morgan-Kiss RM, Ivanov AG, Hüner NPA (2002) The Antarctic psychrophile, Chlamydomonas subcaudata, is deficient in state I-state II transitions. Planta 214:435-445.
  2. Morgan-Kiss RM, Wadler C, Cronan Jr., JE (2002) Long-term and homogeneous regulation of the Escherichia coli araBAD promoter by use of a lactose transporter of relaxed specificity. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 99:7373-7377.[link]

prior to 2002

  1. Dobrikova A.G., Ivanov A.G., Morgan-Kiss R.M., Petkanchin I.B., Taneva S.G. (2000) Contribution of LHCII complex to the electric properties of thylakoid membranes: an electric light scattering study of Chl b-less barley mutant. J. Photochem. Photobiol. B: Biol. 57:33-40.
  2. Dobrikova A., Morgan R.M., Ivanov A.G., Apostolova E., Petkanchin I., Hüner N.P.A., Taneva S.G. (2000) Electric properties of thylakoid membranes from pea mutants with modified carotenoid and chlorophyll-protein complexes composition. Photosynth. Res. 65:165-174.
  3. Ivanov A.G., Morgan R.M., Gray G.R., Velitchkova M.Y., Hüner N.P.A. (1998) Temperature/light dependent development of selective resistance to photoinhibition of photosystem I. FEBS Lett. 430:288-292.
  4. Morgan R.M., Ivanov A.G., Maxwell D., Priscu J.C., Hüner N.P.A. (1998) Structure and composition of the photochemical apparatus of the Antarctic green alga, Chlamydomonas subcaudata. Photosyn. Res. 56:303-314.

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