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Department of Biological Sciences

Faculty and Staff Directory

Bert Ely

Title: Professor
Director of Center for Science Education
Department: Biological Sciences
College of Arts and Sciences
Phone: 803-777-2768
Office: CLS, Room 701

Bert Ely


We are studying the genomes of the caulobacters and the bacteriophage that attack them to understand the roles of genome rearrangements, mutations, and horizontal gene transfer in genome evolution. Caulobacters have an interesting life cycle as shown above. We have shown that extensive genome rearrangements have occurred among the Caulobacter species studied to date. However, similar rearrangements have not occurred among the phages that infect these bacteria. This project involves the isolation of bacteria and bacteriophage from the wild, characterization of the isolates, genome sequencing, and bioinformatics. We are also interested in comparing the genomes of isolates from aquatic environments to those isolated from soil to determine if there are differences in the composition of the genome that are characteristic of the habitat where they live.


Ngyuen, D. and B. Ely. 2018. A genome comparison of T7-like podoviruses that infect Caulobacter crescentus. Current Microbiology, in press.

Ash, K., K. M. Drake, W. S. Gibbs, and B. Ely. 2017. Genomic diversity of type B3 bacteriophages of Caulobacter crescentus. Current Microbiology 74: 779-786. doi: 10.1007/s00284-017-1248-4. [Link]

Scott, D., and B. Ely. 2016. Conservation of the essential genome among Caulobacter and Brevundimonas species. Current Microbiology 72: 503-510. doi: 10.1007/s00284-014-0721-6. [Link]

Callahan C. T., K. M. Wilson, B. Ely. 2016. Characterization of the proteins associated with Caulobacter crescentus bacteriophage CbK particles. Current Microbiology 71: 75-80. doi: 10.1007/s00284-015-0922-7. [Link]

Ely B., W. Gibbs, S. Diez, and K. Ash. 2015. The Caulobacter crescentus transducing phage Cr30 is a unique member of the T4-like family of myophages. Current Microbiology, 70: 854-858. doi: 10.1007/s00284-015-0799-5. [Link]

Patel, S., B. Fletcher, D. C. Scott, and B. Ely. 2015. Genome sequence and phenotypic characterization of Caulobacter segnis. Current Microbiology 70: 355-363. doi: 10.1007/s00284-014-0726-1. [Link]

Ash, K., T. Brown, T. Watford, L. E. Scott, C. Stephens, and B. Ely. 2014. A comparison of the Caulobacter NA1000 and K31 genomes reveals extensive genome rearrangements and differences in metabolic potential. Open Biology 4:140128. doi: 10.1098/rsob.140128. [Link]

Scott, D., and B. Ely. 2015. Comparison of genome sequencing technology and assembly methods for the analysis of a GC-rich bacterial genome. Current Microbiology 70: 338-344. doi: 10.1007/s00284-014-0721-6. [Link]

Ely, B. and L. E. Scott. 2014. Correction of the Caulobacter crescentus NA1000 genome annotation. PLoS ONE 9(3): e91668. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0091668. [Link]

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