Kyle Costa, PhD

Assistant Professor, College of Biological Sciences

Kyle Costa

Contact Info

kcosta@umn.edu

Office Phone 612-624-5375

Office Address:
670 Biological Sciences Center

Mailing Address:
670 Biological Sciences Center
1445 Gortner Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108

Lab Address:
679/685 Biological Sciences Center

Assistant Professor, College of Biological Sciences

Faculty, Microbiology, Immunology and Cancer Biology (MICaB) Ph.D. Graduate Program


Ph.D. University of Washington (2013)

Summary

Expertise

Microbial metabolism, anaerobic microbiology, Archaea

Research

Research Summary/Interests

Our lab studies microbial metabolism with a specific focus on anaerobic processes. We concentrate on two research themes. The first involves characterizing pathways for the utilization of diverse electron donors in methanogenic Archaea (methanogens). Methanogens are responsible for the formation of >95% of Earth’s methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and are essential for the degradation of organic matter in anoxic environments. Despite decades of study, key details of how methanogens conserve energy and utilize diverse electron donors in metabolism are only beginning to emerge. The second theme encompasses understanding the redox properties and biochemical reactions of phenazine metabolites. Phenazines are produced by phylogenetically diverse microorganisms and facilitate many anoxic metabolisms. For example, phenazines are essential to energy conservation in some methanogens and support anoxic survival of the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We are interested in characterizing pathways of phenazine synthesis, modification, degradation, and electron transfer using both genetic and biochemical approaches.