The Zechel lab, in collaboration with the labs of Pallitsch and Hammerschmidt (University of Vienna), has discovered a new oxidative enzyme pathway for the degradation of methylphosphonate. This pathway is used by marine bacteria to utilize methylphosphonate, a prominent natural product in the world’s oceans, as an alternate source of inorganic phosphate. The cycling of … More A new fate for methylphosphonate
For over 60 years, only Streptomyces calvus was known to produce the fluorosugar nucleocidin. This is a problem, as S. calvus is a terrible producer of this valuable molecule (about 0.5 mg/L culture). Zechel lab PhD student Ola Pasternak and collaborators from the University of Freiburg have used a genome mining approach to find a … More A new producer of nucleocidin!
On December 3rd DLZ had the privilege of giving a seminar on phosphonate and organofluorine biochemistry to the Dept. of Chemistry at Laval. DLZ thanks Prof. Jean-François Paquin, a leader in the field of organofluorine synthetic methodology, for the invitation and the warm hospitality during his visit.
Welcome to the lab Simanga and Eric! Postdoc Simanga Gama and new MSc student Eric Lawrence joined the lab on May 1st. Dr. Gama hails from Paul Berti’s lab (McMaster University), while Eric is a newly minted Queen’s Chemistry graduate. They will applying their enthusiasm for enzymes to the Phosphonate Enzymology program.
An NSERC Strategic Grant worth $851,400 over 3 years was awarded to the Zechel lab and a consortium of researchers to develop methods to remediate soils contaminated with RoundUp (glyphosate), the most widely used herbicide on Earth. Led by Trevor Charles (U. Waterloo), this proposal will combine the expertise of the Zechel lab with Geoff … More NSERC Strategic Grant for RoundUp Degradation
DLZ was recently interviewed for a feature article by the Canadian Chemistry Society magazine ACCN about his research on phosphonate degrading enzymes and how this relates to glyphosate. Better known as RoundUp, glyphosate is the most used herbicide on Earth. Follow the link to the article entitled “Mighty Enzymes”. http://www.cheminst.ca/magazine/feature-story/mighty-enzymes
DLZ has returned to Freiburg to work with the lab of Andreas Bechthold on the biosynthesis of nucleocidin by Streptomyces calvus. His sabbatical began in September and he will return to Queen’s in May 2018.
As of July 10th Kaitlyn successfully defended her MSc thesis on nucleocidin biosynthesis. Kaitlyn has now moved on to a career at an exciting biotech start-up in Peterborough called Nobelgen. Well done Kaitlyn and good luck!
David Simon, a PhD student in the Oleschuk and Zechel labs, won the Bill Davidson Graduate Student Travel Award for his presentation at the 9th International Symposium on Enabling Technologies, held earlier this May in Ottawa. Well done David!
The special issue of Chemical Reviews dedicated to the unusual enzymology of natural product biosynthesis is now online. A comprehensive review on phosphonate biochemistry by DLZ and Geoff Horsman (Wilfrid Laurier U) has a prominent place in this review, and even shares a wee corner of the cover page!