Dr. Alison Buchan

Associate Professor

Our research is driven by a desire to understand the roles of microbes in natural environments. Major objectives include linking microbial taxa to critical ecosystem processes, exploring functional gene diversity and its relation to community structure and biogeochemical processes, and identifying novel enzymes and/or catabolic pathways.

Much of our work focuses on the Roseobacter clade, an abundant, broadly distributed and biogeochemically relevant group of heterotrophic marine bacteria. Aspects of Roseobacter biology that are of particular interest to us include catabolism of plant-derived compounds, attachment and colonization of surfaces, and geographical distributions. In addition, we have recently begun to examine viruses that infect this important clade in order to understand how phage lysis influences Roseobacter populations as well as the chemical nature of dissolved organic matter released due to phage activity.

More information, see lab page.

  • Budinoff, C.R., S. Loar, G. R. LeCleir, S. W. Wilhelm and A. Buchan. (2011) Comparison of membrane filters for enumeration of marine viruses by epifluorescence microscopy. BMC Microbiology11:168
  • Yao, D., A. Buchan and M. T. Suzuki (2011).In situ activity of NAC11-7 roseobacters in coastal waters based on ftsZ expression. Environmental Microbiology 13:1032-1041.
  • Buchan, A., B. Crombie, and G. M. Alexandre. (2010). Temporal dynamics and genetic diversity of chemotactic-competent microbial populations in the rhizosphere. Environmental Microbiology 12:3171-3184.
  • Fu, Y., D. M. MacLeod, R. B. Rivkin, F. Chen, A. Buchan, and A. S. Lang. (2010) High diversity of Rhodobacterales in the subarctic North Atlantic Ocean and gene transfer protein expression in isolated strains. Aquatic Microbial Ecology 59:283-293.
  • Buchan, A., M. K. Hadden, M. T. Suzuki. (2009) Development and application of quantitative PCR tools for subgroups of the Roseobacter clade. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 75:7542-7547.
  • Slightom, R. N., and A. Buchan. (2009) Surface colonization by marine roseobacters: integrating genotype and phenotype. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 75:6027-6037
  • Zhao, Y., K. Wang, C. Budinoff, A. Buchan, A. Lang, N. Jiao, and F. Chen. (2009) Gene transfer agent (GTA) genes reveal diverse and dynamic Roseobacter and Rhodobacter populations in Chesapeake Bay. The International Society for Microbial Ecology Journal. 3: 364-373.
  • Moran, M. A., R. Belas, M. A. Schell, J. M. Gonzaléz, F. Sun, B. J. Binder, J. Edmonds, W. Ye, B. Orcutt, E. C. Howard, C. Meile, W. Palefsky, A. Goesmann, Q. Ren, I. Paulsen, L. E. Ulrich, L. S. Thompson, E. Saunders and A. Buchan. (2007) Ecological genomics of marine roseobacters. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 73:4559-4569.

full list is on my personal webpage

B.S., 1994, James Madison University

M.S., 1997, University of Georgia

Ph.D., 2001, University of Georgia

Postdoctoral Fellow, 2001-2002, University of Georgia

Postdoctoral Fellow, 2003-2005, Yale University



The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Big Orange. Big Ideas.

Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 | 865-974-1000
The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System