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Dittmar Hahn, Ph.D.
Ph.D. in Microbiology, 1989, Wageningen Agricultural University, The Netherlands, Department of Microbiology (Advisors: Antoon D.L. Akkermans, Alexander J.B. Zehnder)
Diploma in Biology, 1984, University of Hamburg, Germany
I am a microbial ecologist using molecular techniques to study uncultured microorganisms in aquatic and terrestrial environments. During the last years, I have mainly addressed questions on the ecology of nitrogen-fixing actinomycetes of the genus Frankia and their host plants, but was also involved in studies on invertebrate-microorganism interactions, the ecophysiology of uncultured purple sulfur and sulfate-reducing bacteria, the role of microorganisms in bioremediation of organic and inorganic contaminants, or the fate of pathogens in the environment.
Current Research Projects
Current research projects fall into two major research areas:
Additional projects on pathogens include the detection of Chagas disease in rat species throughout Texas, and the analyses of mongooses and rats from Costa Rica for Leptospira sp. (both in collaboration with Dr. Ivan Castro-Arellano, Wildlife Ecology).
Other activities cover projects performed in collaboration with scientist of different disciplines (e.g. Identification of microbes in corroding concrete, Jiang Hu [Concrete Technology] and Walter Rudzinski [Chemistry]; Platform development for the detection of biospecies, Haim Grebel [Electronic Imaging Center, NJIT]; Succession of yeasts during mescal production, Claudia Patricia Larralde-Corona [CBG-Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Reynosa, Mexico]).
Additional Research Interests
Research activities and interests in the past have covered additional areas and topics. None of these topics, however, is currently part of major research activities.
BIO 4446 Microbial Ecology
BIO 7360G Molecular Techniques in Microbial Ecology
BIO 7410 Aquatic Microbial Ecology
Recent Peer-reviewed Publications
Samant, S., Amann, R.I., Hahn, D. 2014. Evaluation of the 23S rRNA gene as target for qPCR based quantification of Frankia in soils. System. Appl. Microbiol. 37, 229-234
Sha, Q., Vattem, D.A., Forstner, M.R.J., Hahn, D. 2013. Quantifying Salmonella population dynamics in water and biofilms. Microb. Ecol. 65, 60-67
Lee, H.-I., Donati, A.J., Hahn, D., Tisa, L.S., Chang, W.-S. 2013. Alteration of the exopolysaccharide production and the transcriptional profile of free-living Frankia strain CcI3 under nitrogen-fixing conditions. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 97, 10499-10509
Sha, Q., Forstner, M.R.J., Hahn, D. 2013. Diversity of Salmonella in biofilms and water in a headwater ecosystem. FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 83, 642-649
Lindsay, M.K., Zhang, Y., Forstner, M.R.J., Hahn, D. 2013. Effects of the freshwater turtle Trachemys scripta elegans on ecosystem functioning: an approach in experimental ponds. Amphibia-Reptilia 34, 75-84
Sha, Q., Forstner, M.R.J., Bonner, T., Hahn, D. 2013. Salmonellae in fish feces analyzed by in situ hybridization and quantitative polymerase chain reaction. J. Aquatic Animal Health 25, 184-190
Samant, S., Sha, Q., Iyer, A., Dhabekar, P., Hahn, D. 2012. Quantification of Frankia in soils using SYBR Green based qPCR. System. Appl. Microbiol. 35, 191-197
Peduzzi, S., Storelli, N., Welsh, A., Peduzzi, R., Hahn, D., Perret, X., Tonolla, M. 2012. Candidatus „Thiodictyon syntrophicum“, sp. nov., a new purple sulfur bacterium isolated from the chemocline of Lake Cadagno forming aggregates and specific associations with Desulfocapsa sp. System. Appl. Microbiol. 35, 139-144
Gaertner, J.P., Brown, D.J., Mendoza, J.A., Forstner, M.R.J., Bonner, T., Hahn, D. 2012. Geographic variation in Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis occurrence among populations of Acris crepitans blanchardi in Texas, USA. Herpetol. Rev. 43, 150-159
Gaertner, J.P., Mendoza, J.A., Neang, T., Forstner, M.R.J., Hahn, D. 2011. Detection of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in frogs from different locations in Cambodia. Herpetol. Rev. 42, 546-549
Mendoza, J.A., Gaertner, J.P., Holden, J., Forstner, M.R.J., Hahn, D. 2011. Detection of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis on amphibians in Pursat Province, Cambodia. Herpetol. Rev. 42, 542-545
Pokharel, A., Mirza, B.S., Dawson, J.O., Hahn, D. 2011. Frankia populations in soil and root nodules of sympatrically grown Alnus taxa. Microb. Ecol. 61, 92-100
Hahn, D., Mirza, B.S., Benagli, C., Vogel, G., Tonolla, M. 2011. Typing of nitrogen-fixing Frankia strains by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry. System. Appl. Microbiol. 34, 63-68
Becker, J.C., Groeger, A.W., Nowlin, W.H., Chumchal, M.M., Hahn, D. 2011. Spatial variability in the speciation and bioaccumulation of mercury in an arid subtropical reservoir ecosystem. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 30, 2300-2311
Sha, Q., Gunathilake, A., Forstner, M.R.J., Hahn, D. 2011. Temporal analyses of the distribution and diversity of Salmonella in natural biofilms. System. Appl. Microbiol. 34, 353-359
Gaertner, J.P., Mendoza, J.A., Forstner, M.R.J., Hahn, D. 2011. Recovery of Salmonella from biofilms in a headwater spring ecosystem. J. Water Health 9, 458-466
Peduzzi, S., Welsh, A., Demarta, A., Decristophoris, P.M.A., Peduzzi, R., Hahn, D., Tonolla, M. 2011. Thiocystis chemoclinalis sp. nov. and Thiocystis cadagnonensis sp. nov., two new motile purple sulfur bacteria isolated from the chemocline of meromictic Lake Cadagno, Switzerland. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 61, 1682-1687
Gaertner, J.P, McHenry, D., Forstner, M.R.J., Hahn, D. 2010. Annual variation of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in the Houston toad (Bufo houstonensis) and a sympatric congener (Bufo nebulifer). Herpetol. Rev. 41, 456-459
Banerjee, A., Perez-Castillejos, R., Hahn, D., Smirnov, A., Grebel, H. 2010. Micro-fluidic channels on nanopatterned substrates: Monitoring protein binding to lipid bilayers with surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy. Chem. Phys. Lett. 489, 121-126
Welsh, A.K., Burke, D.J., Hamerlynck, E.P., Hahn, D. 2010. Seasonal analyses of arbuscular mycorrhizae, nitrogen-fixing bacteria and growth performance of the salt marsh grass Spartina patens. Plant Soil 330, 251-266
Welsh, A.K., Dawson, J.O., Gottfried, G.J., Hahn, D. 2009. Diversity of Frankia in root nodules of geographically isolated Arizona alders in central Arizona (USA). Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 75, 6913-6918
Mirza, B.S., Welsh, A.K., Rieder, J.P., Paschke, M.W., Hahn, D. 2009. Diversity of frankiae in soils from five continents. System. Appl. Microbiol. 32, 558-570
Mirza, B.S., Welsh, A.K., Hahn, D. 2009. Growth of Frankia strains in leaf litter-amended soil and the rhizosphere of a non-actinorhizal plant. FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 70, 132-141
Boonfueng, T., Axe, L., Yee, N., Hahn, D., Ndiba, P.K. 2009. Zn sorption mechanisms onto sheathed Leptothrix discophora and the impact of the nanoparticulate biogenic Mn oxide coating. J. Coll. Inter. Sci. 333, 439–447
Mirza, B.S., Welsh, A., Rasul, G., Rieder, J.P., Paschke, M.W., Hahn, D. 2009. Diversity of Frankia populations in root nodules of different host plant species revealed by nifH gene sequence analysis. Microb. Ecol. 58, 384-393
Welsh, A., Mirza, B.S., Rieder, J.P., Paschke, M.W., Hahn, D. 2009. Diversity of frankiae in root nodules of Morella pensylvanica grown in soils from five continents. System. Appl. Microbiol. 32, 201-210
McCracken, S., Gaertner, J.P., Forstner, M.R.J., Hahn, D. 2009. Detection of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in amphibians from the forest floor to the upper canopy of an Ecuadorian amazon lowland rainforest. Herpetol. Rev. 40, 190-195
Gaertner, J.P., Gaston, M.A., Spontak, D., Forstner, M.R.J., Hahn, D. 2009. Seasonal variation in the detection of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in a Texas population of Blanchard's cricket frog (Acris crepitans blanchardi). Herpetol. Rev. 40, 184-197
Decristophoris, P.M.A., Peduzzi, S., Ruggeri-Bernardi, N., Hahn, D., Tonolla, M. 2009. Fine scale analysis of shifts in community structure in the chemocline of meromictic Lake Cadagno, Switzerland. J. Limnol. 68, 16-24
Gaertner, J.P., Forstner, M.R.J., O’Donnell, L., Hahn, D. 2009. Detection of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in endemic salamander species from Central Texas. EcoHealth 6, 20-26
Gaertner, J.P., Garres, T., Becker, J.C., Jimenez, M.L., Forstner, M.R.J., Hahn, D. 2009. Analyses of salmonellae in a headwater spring ecosystem. J. Water Health 7, 115-121
Positions are available for undergraduate, M.S. and Ph.D. students to study 1. the fate of salmonellae outside potential host environments and 2. growth and nitrogen-fixation of the actinomycete Frankia in the rhizosphere of host and non-host plants and in bulk soil, using different molecular tools (e.g., in situ hybridization, qPCR). Ph.D. candidates must have a Masters degree, and preferably hands-on experience in microbiology, the use of molecular techniques and statistics. The ability to work independently but within a team environment is required.