The aim of our research is to study energy production in microorganisms. The research covers several projects, of which the three main projects will briefly be presented below.

Anita Sellstedt (photo taken by Fredrik Larsson)Anita Sellstedt (photo: Fredrik Larsson)

Hydrogen metabolism of Frankia

Nitrogen fixation occurs in Frankia both in free-living as well as in symbioses and may contribute as much as a quarter of the total yearly biologically fixed nitrogen globally in terrestrial ecosystem.

The most important recent achievement in the Frankia research field is the sequencing of three Frankia genomes. We were able to show that there are large differences in the genome sizes. Frankia EANpec1 was found to have the largest genome with 9.0 Mb, while Frankia ACN14a had an intermediate size of 7.5 Mb and Frankia HFPCcI3 was the smallest at 5.4 Mb. These numbers were correlated with geographical origin, host plant distribution and repeated sequences, such as IS. Our findings open up a new era in Frankia research, yielding possibilities to explore the molecular biology of Frankia.

An inevitable source of energy-inefficiency in the nitrogen-fixation process is the evolution of hydrogen; as much as 25% of the in vitro electron-flow through nitrogenase goes to hydrogen evolution. Some nitrogen-fixing systems have dealt with this problem of energy loss through evolving an extra enzyme, called uptake hydrogenase, which is very common in Frankia.

anita_1 anita_2
Light micrograph of the bacterium Frankia showing vesicles. Light micrograph of our isolate of Chalara parvispora

Cyanobacteria in association with boreal mosses

We were able to discover that cyanobacteria live in association with feather mosses in the boreal area. We also discovered that they are able of fixing nitrogen and thereby contributing to the N status of that ecosystem.

Heterotrophic production of lipids by algae

Algae are commonly autotrophic carbon dioxide fixing prokaryotes. They are also able of storing different compounds under a variety of conditions. This year a Thesis from my laboratory revealed that some microalgae are able to use glycerol as a carbon source under growing in heterotrophic conditions. Interestingly, a microalgae isolated in the lab and originating from Umeå area has this trait and also accumulated significant amounts of lipids under this condition.

sweden_greySvensk sammanfattning

Publication list

  1. More than protection: the function of TiO 2 interlayers in hematite functionalized Si photoanodes
    Phys Chem Chem Phys. 2020, 22(48 ):28459-28467
  2. Bioethanol production from four abundant Indian agricultural wastes
    Biofuels UK 2020, 11(5):607-613
  3. Screening Suitability of Northern Hemisphere Algal Strains for Heterotrophic Cultivation and Fatty Acid Methyl Ester Production
    Molecules. 2020, 25(9):E2107
  4. Effects of light intensity on growth and lipid production in microalgae grown in wastewater
    Biotechnol Biofuels. 2020, 13(4)
  5. A microstructured p-Si photocathode outcompetes Pt as a counter electrode to hematite in photoelectrochemical water splitting
    Dalton Trans. 2019, 48(4):1166-1170
  6. Photo-electrochemical hydrogen production from neutral phosphate buffer and seawater using micro-structured p-Si photo-electrodes functionalized by solution-based methods
    SUSTAINABLE ENERGY & FUELS 2018, 2(19):2215-2223
  7. Mixotrophic and heterotrophic production of lipids and carbohydrates by a locally isolated microalga using wastewater as a growth medium
    Bioresour Technol. 2018; 257:260-265
  8. Adaptability of Trametes versicolor to the lignocellulosic inhibitors furfural, HMF, phenol and levulinic acid during ethanol fermentation
    BIOMASS & BIOENERGY 2016, 90:95-100
  9. Genome Sequence of the Atypical Symbiotic Frankia R43 Strain, a Nitrogen-Fixing and Hydrogen-Producing Actinobacterium
    Genome Announc. 2015, 3(6)
  10. Expression of fungal acetyl xylan esterase in Arabidopsis thaliana improves saccharification of stem lignocellulose
    Plant Biotechnol J. 2015, 14 (1):387-397
  11. Biomass-Based Energy Production
    in Introduction to Chemicals from Biomass, Second Edition (eds J. Clark and F. Deswarte) (2015), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK
  12. Structural and gene expression analyses of uptake hydrogenases and other proteins involved in nitrogenase protection in Frankia
    Journal of Biosciences, 2013; 38(4):703-712
  13. Aspects of nitrogen fixing Actinobacteria, in particular free-living and symbiotic Frankia
    FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2013 ;342 (2):179-186
  14. Kudahettige RL, Holmgren M, Imerzel P, Sellstedt A
    Characterization of bioethanol production from hexoses and xylose by the white rot fungus Trametes versicolor
    Bioenergy Research:
    Volume 5(2), (2012), 277-285
  15. Kosawang C, Kudahettige RL, Resman L, Sellstedt A
    Hydrogen yield from a hydrogenase in Frankia R43 at different levels of the carbon source propionate
    Journal of Environmental Management: 2011, Epub ahead of print
  16. Leul M, Normand P, Sellstedt A
    The phylogeny of uptake hydrogenases in Frankia
    International Microbiology: 2009 12:23-28
  17. Zackrisson O, DeLuca TH, Gentili F, Sellstedt A, Jäderlund A
    Nitrogen fixation in mixed Hylocomium splendens moss communities
    Oecologia: 2009 160:309-319
  18. Holmgren M, Sellstedt A
    Identification of white-rot and soft-rot fungi increasing ethanol production from spent sulfite liquor in co-culture with Saccharomyces cerevisiae
    Journal of Applied Microbiology: 2008 105:134-140
  19. Leul M, Normand P, Sellstedt A
    The organization, regulation and phylogeny of uptake hydrogenase genes in Frankia

    Physiologia Plantarum: 2007 130:464-470
  20. Santos CL, Vieira J, Sellstedt A, Normand P, Moradas-Ferreira P, Tavares F
    Modulation of Frankia alni ACN14a oxidative stress response: activity, expression and phylogeny of catalases
    Physiologia Plantarum: 2007 130:454-463
  21. Tavares F, Santos CL, Sellstedt A
    Reactive oxygen species in legume and actinorhizal nitrogen-fixing symbioses: the microsymbiont's responses to an unfriendly reception
    Physiologia Plantarum: 2007 130:344-356
  22. Sellstedt A, Normand P, Dawson J
    Frankia - the friendly bacteria - infecting actinorhizal plants
    Physiologia Plantarum: 2007 130:315-317
  23. DeLuca TH, Zackrisson O, Gentili F, Sellstedt A, Nilsson M-C
    Ecosystem controls on nitrogen fixation in boreal feather moss communities
    Oecologia: 2007 152:121-130
  24. Normand P, Lapierre P, Tisa LS, Gogarten JP, ..., Sellstedt A, Tavares F, et al
    Genome characeristics of facultatively symbiotic Frankia sp. strains reflect host range and host plant biogeography
    Genome Research 2007 17:7-15
  25. Mohapatra A, Leul M, Sandstrom G, Sellstedt A
    Occurrence and characterisation of the hydrogen-evolving enzyme in Frankia sp
    International Journal Of Hydrogen Energy: 2006 31:1445-1451
  26. Nitrogen fixation and biomass production in symbiosis between Alnus incana and Frankia strains with differrent hydrogen metabolism
    Physiol. Plant. 2006; 66(1):99-107
  27. Stahl L, Hogberg P, Sellstedt A, Buresh RJ
    Measuring nitrogen fixation by Sesbania sesban planted fallows using N-15 tracer technique in Kenya
    Agroforestry Systems: 2005 65:67-79
  28. Leul M, Mattsson U, Sellstedt A
    Molecular characterization of uptake hydrogenase in Frankia
    Biochem Soc Trans: 2005 33:64-66
  29. Leul M, Mohapatra A, Sellstedt A
    Biodiversity of hydrogenases in Frankia
    Curr Microbiol: 2005 50:17-23
  30. Gentili F, Nilsson MC, Zackrisson O, DeLuca TH, Sellstedt A
    Physiological and molecular diversity of feather moss associative N-2-fixing cyanobacteria
    Journal Of Experimental Botany: 2005 56:3121-3127
  31. Zackrisson O, DeLuca TH, Nilsson MC, Sellstedt A, Berglund LM
    Nitrogen fixation increases with successional age in boreal forests
    Ecology: 2004 85:3327-3334
  32. Mohapatra A, Leul M, Mattsson U, Sellstedt A
    A hydrogen-evolving enzyme is present in Frankia sp. R43
    FEMS Microbiol Lett: 2004 236:235-240
  33. Leitz G, Lundberg C, Fallman E, Axner O, Sellstedt A
    Laser-based micromanipulation for separation and identification of individual Frankia vesicles
    Fems Microbiology Letters: 2003 224:97-100
  34. Tavares F, Bernardo L, Sellstedt A
    Identification and expression studies of a catalase and a bifunctional catalase-peroxidase in Frankia strain R43
    Plant and Soil: 2003 254:75-81
  35. Mattsson U, Sellstedt A
    Nickel affects activity more than expression of hydrogenase protein in Frankia
    Curr Microbiol: 2002 44:88-93
  36. DeLuca TH, Zackrisson O, Nilsson M-C, Sellstedt A
    Quantifying nitrogen-fixation in feather moss carpets of boreal forests
    Nature: 2002 419:917-920
  37. Mattsson U, Johansson L, Sandstrom G, Sellstedt A
    Frankia KB5 possesses a hydrogenase immunologically related to membrane-bound
    Curr Microbiol: 2001 42:438-441
  38. Tavares F, Sellstedt A
    DNase-resistant DNA in the extracellular and cell wall-associated fractions of Frankia strains R43 and CcI3
    Curr Microbiol: 2001 42:168-172
  39. Mattsson U, Johansson L, Sandstrom G, Sellstedt A
    Frankia KB5 possesses a hydrogenase immunologically related to membrane-bound [NiFe]-hydrogenases
    Current Microbiology: 2001 42:438-441
  40. Mattsson U, Sellstedt A
    Hydrogenase in Frankia KB5: expression of and relation to nitrogenase
    Can J Microbiol: 2000 46:1091-1095
  41. Tavares F, Sellstedt A
    A simple, rapid and non-destructive procedure to extract cell wall-associated proteins from Frankia
    J Microbiol Methods: 2000 39:171-178
  42. Tavares F, Sellstedt A
    DNase activities of the extracellular, cell wall-associated, and cytoplasmic protein fractions of Frankia strain R43
    Applied and Environmental Microbiology: 1997 63:4597-4599
  43. Sellstedt A
    Specificity and Effectivity in Nodulation by Frankia on Southern-Hemisphere Actinorhiza
    Fems Microbiology Letters: 1995 125:231-236
  44. Sellstedt A, Rosbrook PA, Kang L, Reddell P
    Effect of Carbon Source on Growth, Nitrogenase and Uptake Hydrogenase Activities of Frankia Isolates from Casuarina Sp
    Plant and Soil: 1994 158:63-68
  45. Sellstedt A, Mattsson U
    Hydrogen Metabolism in Casuarina-Frankia - Immunolocalization of Nitrogenase and Hydrogenase
    Soil Biology & Biochemistry: 1994 26:583-592
  46. Sellstedt A, Stahl L, Mattsson U, Jonsson K, Hogberg P
    Can the N-15 Dilution Technique Be Used to Study N-2 Fixation in Tropical Tree Symbioses as Affected by Water-Deficit
    Journal of Experimental Botany: 1993 44:1749-1755
  47. Sellstedt A
    Hydrogen Metabolism in Frankia - Is There a Plant Factor Affecting This Metabolism
    Acta Oecologica-International Journal of Ecology: 1992 13:512-512
  48. Sellstedt A, Wullings B, Nystrom U, Gustafsson P
    Identification of Casuarina-Frankia Strains by Use of Polymerase Chain-Reaction (Pcr) with Arbitrary Primers
    Fems Microbiology Letters: 1992 93:1-5
  49. Sellstedt A, Atkins CA
    Composition of Amino-Compounds Transported in Xylem of Casuarina Sp
    Journal of Experimental Botany: 1991 42:1493-1497
  50. Sellstedt A, Reddell P, Rosbrook PA, Ziehr A
    The Relations of Hemoglobin and Lignin-Like Compounds to Acetylene-Reduction in Symbiotic Casuarina
    Journal of Experimental Botany: 1991 42:1331-1337
  51. Sellstedt A, Reddell P, Rosbrook P
    The Occurrence of Hemoglobin and Hydrogenase in Nodules of 12 Casuarina-Frankia Symbiotic Associations
    Physiologia Plantarum: 1991 82:458-464
  52. Sellstedt A, Smith GD
    Nickel Is Essential for Active Hydrogenase in Free-Living Frankia Isolated from Casuarina
    Fems Microbiology Letters: 1990 70:137-140
  53. Sellstedt A, Lindblad P
    Activities, Occurrence, and Localization of Hydrogenase in Free-Living and Symbiotic Frankia
    Plant Physiology: 1990 92:809-815
  54. Sellstedt A, Winship LJ
    Acetylene, Not Ethylene, Inactivates the Uptake Hydrogenase of Actinorhizal Nodules During Acetylene-Reduction Assays
    Plant Physiology: 1990 94:91-94
  55. Lindblad P, Sellstedt A
    Occurrence and Localization of an Uptake Hydrogenase in the Filamentous Heterocystous Cyanobacterium Nostoc Pcc-73102
    Protoplasma: 1990 159:9-15
  56. Lindblad P, Sellstedt A
    Immunogold Localization of Hydrogenase in Free-Living Frankia Cpi1
    Fems Microbiology Letters: 1989 60:311-315
  57. Sellstedt A, Hogberg P, Jonsson K
    Diurnal-Variation in Acetylene-Reduction and Net Hydrogen Evolution in 5 Tropical and Sub-Tropical Nitrogen-Fixing Tree Symbioses
    Journal of Experimental Botany: 1989 40:1163-1168
  58. Sellstedt A
    Occurrence and Activity of Hydrogenase in Symbiotic Frankia from Field-Collected Alnus-Incana
    Physiologia Plantarum: 1989 75:304-308
  59. Sellstedt A
    Nitrogenase Activity, Hydrogen Evolution and Biomass Production in Different Casuarina Symbioses
    Plant and Soil: 1988 105:33-40
  60. Hydrogen metabolism of Casuarina root nodules: A comparison of two inoculum sources
    Physiologia Plantarum, 1987; 70(2): 367–372
  61. Sellstedt A, Winship LJ
    Hydrogen Metabolism of Casuarina Root-Nodules - a Comparison of 2 Inoculum Sources
    Physiologia Plantarum: 1987 70:367-372
  62. Winship LJ, Martin KJ, Sellstedt A
    The Acetylene-Reduction Assay Inactivates Root Nodule Uptake Hydrogenase in Some Actinorhizal Plants
    Physiologia Plantarum: 1987 70:361-366
  63. Sellstedt A
    Nitrogen and Carbon Utilization in Alnus-Incana Fixing N-2 or Supplied with No3 at the Same Rate
    Journal of Experimental Botany: 1986 37:786-797
  64. Sellstedt A, Hussdanell K, Ahlqvist AS
    Nitrogen-Fixation and Biomass Production in Symbioses between Alnus-Incana and Frankia Strains with Different Hydrogen Metabolism
    Physiologia Plantarum: 1986 66:99-107
  65. Sellstedt A
    Acetylene reduction, H-2 Evolution and 15-N-2 Fixation in the Alnus incana-Frankia Symbiosis
    Planta: 1986 167:382-386
  66. Sellstedt A, Hussdanell K
    Biomass Production and Nitrogen-Utilization by Alnus-Incana When Grown on N-2 or Nh4+ Made Available at the Same Rate
    Planta: 1986 167:387-394
  67. Huss-Danell K, Sellstedt A
    Nitrogenase activity in response to darkening and defoliation in Alnus incana

    Journal of Experimental Botany: 1985 36:1352-1358
  68. Sellstedt A, Huss-Danell K
    Growth, nitrogen fixation and relative efficiency of nitrogenase in Alnus incana grown in different cultivation systems
    Plant and Soil: 1984 78:147-158
  69. Nitrogenase activity in response to restricted shoot growth in Alnus incana
    Can. J. Bot., 1983, 61(11): 2949-2955
  70. Ammonium effects on function and structure of nitrogen-fixing root nodules of Alnus incana (L.) Moench
    Planta 1982; 156(4):332-40