Daniel Gage

Professor and Associate Head Undergraduate Research and Education

Molecular and Cell Biology / Microbiology

Education: Ph.D. University of Michigan, Postdoctoral study, Stanford University.

Research Interests: My lab is interested in how microorganisms regulate their molecular and cellular activities when growing and developing in close association with other species. It is clear that interactions among microbes, and between microbes and multicellular organisms, are quite common outside of the laboratory. These interactions may be beneficial to the species involved, as in the case of mutualistic symbiosis. Alternatively, the association may be detrimental to one of the species as is the case during pathogenic microbe-host interactions.

The bacterium Sinorhizobium meliloti is able to establish a symbiosis with its host plant, alfalfa, during which the bacteria enter root cells, differentiates, and fixes atmospheric nitrogen into ammonium, thereby providing the host with a biologically available form of this element. This interaction requires that gene expression and growth of both organisms be integrated in order for the symbiosis to be productive. The research being conducted in my lab is aimed at better understanding how the integration between S. meliloti and its host is achieved. Studying this symbiosis as a model system should reveal general mechanisms of interspecies communication, and mechanisms for integrating gene function and metabolism when microbes live in close association with one another, as is most often the case in natural situations.

Selected Publications:

Christopher J. Hawxhurst, Jamie L. Micciulla, Charles M. Bridges, Mikhael Shor, Daniel J. Gage, Leslie M. Shor and Irina S. Druzhinina. Soil Protists Can Actively Redistribute Beneficial Bacteria along Medicago truncatula Roots. Environmental Microbiology. 6 March 2023. doi: https://doi.org/10.1128/aem.01819-22

Michael E. Stephens, Jacquelynn Benjamino, Joerg Graf, Daniel J. Gage (2022). Simultaneous Single-Cell Genome and Transcriptome Sequencing of Termite Hindgut Protists Reveals Metabolic and Evolutionary Traits of Their Endosymbionts. mSphere: https://doi.org/10.1128/msphere.00021-22

Stephen J. Taerum, Jamie Micciulla, Gabrielle Corso, Blaire Steven, Daniel J. Gage and Lindsay R. Triplett (2021). 18S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing combined with culture-based surveys of maize rhizosphere protists reveal dominant, plant-enriched and culturable community members. Environmental Microbiology Reports. doi:10.1111/1758-2229.13038 

Pirhanov, A.; Bridges, CM; Goodwin, RA; Gao, Y; Furrer, J; Shor, LM; Gage, DJ and Cho, YK. (2021) Optogenetics in Sinorhizobium melilotienables spatial control of exopolysaccharide production and biofilm structure. ACS Synthetic Biology: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/acssynbio.0c00498

Bridges, C.M., Nelson, M.C., Graf, J. and Daniel. J. Gage (2021). Draft Genome Sequences of Dysgonomonas sp. Strains BGC7and HGC4, Isolated from the Hindgut of a Lower Termite. Microbiol. Resour. Announc. 10:e01427-20. https://doi.org/10.1128/MRA.01427-20.

Bridges, C.M. and Daniel. J. Gage (2021). Development and application of aerobic, chemically defined media for Dysgonomonas. Anaerobe 67:102302. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anaerobe.2020.102302

Stephen J. Taerum, Blaire Steven, Daniel J. Gage, and Lindsay R. Triplett (2020). Validation of a PNA clamping method for Reducing host DNA amplification and increasing eukaryotic diversity in rhizosphere microbiome studies. https://apsjournals.apsnet.org/doi/10.1094/PBIOMES-05-20-0040-TA

Stephens ME, Gage DJ (2020) Single-cell amplicon sequencing reveals community structures and transmission trends of protist-associated bacteria in a termite host. PLOS ONE 15(5): e0233065. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0233065

Garcia, P. P. Bringhurst, R.M. and D. J. Gage (2010). Characterization of a two-component regulatory system which regulates succinate-mediated catabolite repression in Sinorhizobium meliloti.
J. Bacteriol 192: 5725-5735.

Sheftic, S. R., Garcia, P. P., Robinison, V. L., Gage, D. J. and A. T. Alexandrescu (2010) NMR Assignments for the Sinorhizobium meliloti Response Regulator Sma0114.
Biomolecular NMR Assignments Published online: DOI 10.1007/s12104-010-9266-1

C. Arango-Pinedo and D. J. Gage (2009) HPrK regulates succinate-mediated catabolite repression in the Gram negative symbiont Sinorhizobium meliloti.
J. Bacteriol. 191:298-309

Gage, D. J., Herron, P. M., Arango-Pinedo, C., and Z. G. Cardon (2008). Live reports from the soil grain–the promise and challenge of microbiosensors.
Functional Ecology 22:983.

Arango-Pinedo, C., Bringhurst, R.M. and D. J. Gage (2008). Sinorhizobium meliloti mutants lacking phosphotransferase system enzyme HPr or EIIA are altered in diverse processes, including carbon metabolism, cobalt requirements, and succinoglycan production.
J. Bacteriol. 190:2947

Z. Cardon and D. J. Gage (2006) Resource exchange in the rhizosphere – molecular tools and the microbial perspective.
Ann. Rev. Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 37: 459-488

H. Monahan, C. Arango-Pinedo and D. J. Gage (2006) Architecture of infection thread networks in developing root nodules. Plant Physiology 140: 661-670

D. J. Gage (2004) Infection and invasion of roots by symbiotic, nitrogen-fixing, rhizobia during nodulation of temperate legumes.
Microbiol. Mol. Biol. Rev. 68:280-300

M. Rosado and D. J. Gage. (2003) Transcriptional control of a rRNA promoter of the nodulating symbiont Sinorhizobium meliloti.
FEMS Microbiol. Letters 226:15-22

D. J. Gage (2002) Analysis of infection thread development after coinoculation of alfalfa with gfp-and Dsred-expressing Sinorhizobium meliloti
J. Bacteriology 184:7042-7046

Bringhurst, R. M. and D. J. Gage (2002) Inducer exclusion/expulsion plays a key role in succinate-mediated catabolite repression in Sinorhizobium meliloti.
J. Bacteriology 184:5385-5392

Bringhurst, R. M., Cardon, Z., and D. J. Gage (2000). Galactosides in the rhizosphere: utilization by Sinorhizobium meliloti and development of a biosensor. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 98:4540-4545

Gage, D. J., and W. Margolin. (2000). Hanging by a thread: invasion of legume plants by rhizobia. Current Opinion in Microbiology 3:316

Bringhurst, R. M., and D. J. Gage (2000) An AraC-like transcriptional activator is required for induction of genes needed for a-galactoside utilization in Sinorhizobium meliloti. FEMS Microbiol. Letters 188:23-27

Gage, D. J., and S. R. Long. (1998) a-galactoside uptake in Rhizobium meliloti: isolation and characterization of agpA, a gene encoding a periplasmic binding protein required for melibiose and raffinose utilization. J. Bacteriology 180: 5739 – 5748

Gage, D. J., Bobo, T. and S. R. Long. (1996). Use of green fluorescent protein to visualize the early events of symbiosis between Rhizobium meliloti and alfalfa, Medicago sativa. J. Bacteriology 178:7159

Gage, D.J., and F.C. Neidhardt. (1992). Adaptation of Escherichia coli to an uncoupler of oxidative phosphorylation, 2,4-dinitrophenol. J. Bacteriology 175: 7105

Gage, D.J., and F.C. Neidhardt. (1992). Modulation of the heat shock response by one-carbon metabolism in Escherichia coli. J. Bacteriology 175: 1961.

Dan Gage
Contact Information
Mailing Address91 North Eagleville Road, Unit 3125, Storrs, CT 06269-3125
Office LocationBiology/Physics Building 406