Timothy Donohue

Timothy Donohue

Professor of Bacteriology 

Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University, 1980
Postdoctoral Research: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 

Address: 5166 Wisconsin Energy Institute

Telephone: 608-262-4663; 608-265-5224


Department: Bacteriology

Research Interests

Our laboratory analyzes pathways and networks that microbes use to grow, generate biomass, or produce alternative fuels from sunlight or other renewable sources of energy.

Research Fields

Computational, Systems & Synthetic Biology
Gene Expression
Genomics & Proteomics

Research Description:

Our laboratory analyzes pathways and networks that microbes use to grow, generate biomass, or produce alternative fuels from sunlight or other renewable sources of energy. To dissect this fundamentally important problem, we are studying metabolic and regulatory pathways of the photosynthetic bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides. By taking advantage of the R. sphaeroides genome sequence, microarrays, proteomics and molecular techniques we are defining how the energy in sunlight or renewable nutrients is partitioned into processes like cell growth or formation of biofuels. The metabolic pathways, global signal transduction networks, alternative sigma factors, and signals that control expression of well-studied components of the respiratory and photosynthetic electron transport chains are being defined or modelled using mutants, in vitro systems and computational techniques.

The long range goals are to identify metabolic and regulatory activities that are critical to bioenergy formation, to obtain a thorough understanding of energy-conserving pathways of agricultural, environmental and medical importance, and to use computational models to help design microbial machines with increased capacity to utilize solar energy, generate renewable sources of energy, remove toxic compounds, or synthesize biodegradable polymers.

Representative Publications:

Search PubMed for more publications by Timothy Donohue

Lemmer KC, Dohnalkova AC, Noguera DR, Donohue TJ (2015) Oxygen-dependent regulation of bacterial lipid production. J. Bacteriol. 197(9):1649-58 (PMC4403652) View Abstract · Pubmed Record

Spero MA, Aylward FO, Currie CR, Donohue TJ (2015) Phylogenomic analysis and predicted physiological role of the proton-translocating NADH:quinone oxidoreductase (complex I) across bacteria. MBio 6(2): (PMC4453560)

Imam S, Noguera DR, Donohue TJ (2015) CceR and AkgR regulate central carbon and energy metabolism in alphaproteobacteria. MBio 6(1): (PMC4323418)

Imam S, Noguera DR, Donohue TJ (2015) An integrated approach to reconstructing genome-scale transcriptional regulatory networks. PLoS Comput. Biol. 11(2):e1004103 (PMC4344238)

Imam S, Noguera DR, Donohue TJ (2014) Global analysis of photosynthesis transcriptional regulatory networks. PLoS Genet. 10(12):e1004837 (PMC4263372)

Peterson AC, Hauschild JP, Quarmby ST, Krumwiede D, Lange O, Lemke RA, Grosse-Coosmann F, Horning S, Donohue TJ, Westphall MS, Coon JJ, Griep-Raming J (2014) Development of a GC/Quadrupole-Orbitrap mass spectrometer, part I: design and characterization. Anal. Chem. 86(20):10036-43 (PMC4204906)

Gall DL, Ralph J, Donohue TJ, Noguera DR (2014) A group of sequence-related sphingomonad enzymes catalyzes cleavage of β-aryl ether linkages in lignin β-guaiacyl and β-syringyl ether dimers. Environ. Sci. Technol. 48(20):12454-63 (PMC4207535)

Lemke RA, Peterson AC, Ziegelhoffer EC, Westphall MS, Tjellström H, Coon JJ, Donohue TJ (2014) Synthesis and scavenging role of furan fatty acids. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 111(33):E3450-7 (PMC4143029)

Lennon CW, Lemmer KC, Irons JL, Sellman MI, Donohue TJ, Gourse RL, Ross W (2014) A Rhodobacter sphaeroides protein mechanistically similar to Escherichia coli DksA regulates photosynthetic growth. MBio 5(3):e01105-14 (PMC4010833)

Gall DL, Kim H, Lu F, Donohue TJ, Noguera DR, Ralph J (2014) Stereochemical features of glutathione-dependent enzymes in the Sphingobium sp. strain SYK-6 β-aryl etherase pathway. J. Biol. Chem. 289(12):8656-67 (PMC3961688)

Imam S, Noguera DR, Donohue TJ (2013) Global insights into energetic and metabolic networks in Rhodobacter sphaeroides. BMC Syst Biol 7:89 (PMC3849096)