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Frank Rosenzweig, Professor

Hours: AY 2010-2011 on Sabbatical

Phone: (406) 243-4834
Fax: (406) 243-4184


Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Michigan

Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania                                                                                                                                                     

B.A., University of Tennessee

Research Interests

The overall goal of research in the Rosenzweig lab is to elucidate mechanisms that produce and maintain diversity in prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbes. We are particularly interested in understanding how changes in genome architecture affect global patterns of gene expression and whether such changes translate into how clones behave physiologically and demographically. We are engaged in several projects related to this theme: we are investigating how yeast and bacterial genomes, including those of interspecific hybrids, respond to either chronic resource limitation or continuously changing temperature and ethanol regimes. We are now also studying how genome architecture of opportunistic pathogens evolves in the cystic fibrosis lung. In the lab and in nature it is possible to track evolution of clonal microbial populations for hundreds of generations. A living record of each population’s evolutionary trajectory can be preserved by archiving samples as -80°C glycerol stocks, and the tempo of evolutionary change inferred from changes in the frequency of neutral markers. The physiology and genetics of evolved strains and their ancestors can then be analyzed in detail to determine the bases for differences in Darwinian fitness. Sequencing of the yeast, E. coli and P. aeruginosa genomes makes possible the use of DNA microarrays to assess how changes in genome architecture and transcript levels underlie, or attend, evolutionary adaptation to various selection pressures.

Selected Publications

Piotrowski, J.S., Nagarajan, E. Kroll, A. Stanbery, K.E. Chiotti, A.L. Kruckeberg, B. Dunn, G. Sherlock and F. Rosenzweig. 2012. Different selective pressures lead to different genomic outcomes as newly-formed hybrid yeasts evolve. BMC Evol Biol 12.

Wenger, J.W., J. Piotrowski, S. Nagarajan, K. Chiotti, G. Sherlock  and F. Rosenzweig 2011.  Hunger artists: Yeast adapted to carbon limitation show trade-offs under carbon sufficiency. PLoS Genetics 7(8): e1002202.

Kinnersely, M., J.W. Wenger, G. Sherlock and F. Rosenzweig. 2011.  Rapid evolution of simple microbial communities in the laboratory.  In, Evolutionary Biology–Concepts, Bioversity, Macroevolution and Genome Evolution. C. Pontarottti (ed.), Springer, Berlin.

Warren, A.E., C.M. Boulianne-Larsen, C.B. Chandler, K. Chiotti, E. Kroll, S.R. Miller, F. Taddei, I. Sermet-Gaudelus, A. Ferroni, K. McInnerney, M.J. Franklin, and F. Rosenzweig. 2011.  Genotypic and phenotypic variation in P. aeruginosa reveals signatures of secondary infection and mutator activity in certain CF patients with chronic lung infections.  Infection and Immunity 79(12):4802-4818.

Kroll, E., F. Rosenzweig and B. Dunn. Starvation-induced reproductive isolation in yeast. 2010. In, Evolutionary Biology – Concepts, Molecular and Morpholological Evolution. C. Pontarottti (ed.), Springer-Verlag, Berlin.

Kruckeberg, A.L., S. Nagarajan, K. McInnerney and F. Rosenzweig. 2009. Extraction of RNA from Ca-Alginate encapsulated yeast for transcriptional profiling. Analytical Biochem. 391(2):160.

F. Rosenzweig and G. Sherlock. 2009. Through a Glass, Clearly: Experimental evolution as a window on genome evolution. In, Experimental Evolution: Applications and Methods. M. Rose & T. Garland (eds.) UC-Berkeley Press.

Huey, R.B and F. Rosenzweig. 2009. Laboratory evolution meets Catch-22: Balancing simplicity and realism. In, Experimental Evolution: Applications and Methods. M. Rose & T. Garland (eds.) UC-Berkeley Press.

Ramamoorthy, S., Piotrowski, J., Langner, H., Holben, W., Morra, M. and R. F. Rosenzweig. 2009. Ecology of sulfate-reducing bacteria in an iron-dominated, mining-impacted freshwater sediment, J. Environ. Quality 38(2):1-10.          

Sass, H., Ramamoorthy, S., Yarwood, C., Langner, H., Schumann, P., Kroppenstedt, R.,Spring, S. and R. F, Rosenzweig. 2009. Characterization of novel sulfate-reducing bacteria from a metal(loid)-contaminated freshwater sediment:Description of Desulfovibrio idahonensis sp. nov. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 59:2208-2214.

Ramamoorthy, S., Sass, H., Langner, H., Schumann, P. Kroppenstedt, R., Spring, S., Overmann,J., and R. F. Rosenzweig. 2006.Desulfosporosinus lacus sp. nov., a novel sulfate-reducing bacterium isolated from pristine freshwater lake sediments. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 56:2729-2736.

Spring, S. and R. F. Rosenzweig. 2004. The Genera Desulfitobacterium and Desulfosporosinus: Taxonomy. In, TheProkaryotes, M. Dworkin, (ed.) Springer-Verlag, New York.

Laub, M. and F. Rosenzweig. 2003. Transcriptional profiling in bacteria using microarrays. In Methods and Tools in Biosciences and Medicine: Prokaryotic Genomics and Genetics, Edited by M. Blot. Birkhauser-Verlag, Basel.

Cummings, D.E., Snoeyenbos-West, O., Newby, D., Niggemyer, A.,Lovley, D., Achenbach, L. and R.F. Rosenzweig. 2003. Colonization of metal-polluted freshwater lake sediments by Geobacteraceae species as assessed by 16S rDNA analyses.Microbial Ecol. 46:257-269.

Dunham, M. J., Badrane, H., Ferea, T., Adams, J. P., Brown, P. O.,Rosenzweig, F.and D.Botstein. 2002. Characteristic genome rearrangements accompany experimental evolution of S. cerevisiae. Proc. Nat.Acad. Sci. (USA)99(25):16144-16149.

Niggemyer, A., S. Spring, S. Stackebrandt, E.andR.F. Rosenzweig. 2001. Isolation and characterization of a novel arsenate-reducing bacterium: Implications for arsenic mobilization and the genus Desulfitobacterium. Appl. Env. Microbiol.67:5568-5580.

Cummings, D.E., A.W. March, B. Bostick, S. Spring, F. Caccavo, S.E. Fendorf, and R.F. Rosenzweig. 2000. Evidence for microbial Fe(III) reduction in anoxic, mining-impacted lake sediments (LakeCoeur d’Alene, USA). Appl. Env.Microbiol. 66:154-162.

Ferea, T., P.J. Brown, D. Botstein, and R.F. Rosenzweig. 1999. Systematic changes in gene expression patterns following adaptive evolution in yeast. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. (USA) 96(17):9721-9726.

Cummings, D.E., F. Caccavo, S.E. Fendorf, and R.F. Rosenzweig. 1999. Arsenic mobilization by a dissimilatoryFe(III) reducing bacterium. Environ. Sci. Technol. 33:723-729.

Cummings, D.E., F. Caccavo, S. Spring, and R.F. Rosenzweig. 1999. Ferribacterium limneticum gen. nov., sp.nov., an Fe(III)-reducing microorganism isolated from mining-impacted lakesediments. Archives Microbiol.171:183-188.

Harrington, J.M., S.E. Fendorf, and R.F. Rosenzweig. 1998. Biotic generation of arsenic(III) in heavy metal contaminated lake sediments. Environ. Sci. Technol.32:2425-2430.

Brown, C.J., K.I. Todd, and R.F. Rosenzweig. 1998. Multiple duplications of yeast hexose transport genes in response to selection in a glucose-limited environment. Mol. Biol. Evoln.15:931-942.

Harrington, J.M., M.J. LaForce, W.C. Rember, S.E. Fendorf, and R.F. Rosenzweig. 1998. Phase associations and mobilization of iron and trace metals in sediments of Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Environ.Sci. Technol.32:650-656.

Rosenzweig, R.F., and J.Adams. 1994. Microbial adaptations to a variable environment: Cell-cell interactions mediate physiological and genetic differentiation. Bioessays16:715-717.

Rosenzweig, R.F. 1992. Regulation of fitness in yeast overexpressing glycolytic enzymes: Responses to heat shock and nitrogenstarvation. Gen. Res. (Cambridge)59:167-177.

Kurlandzka, A., R. F. Rosenzweig,and J. Adams. 1991. Identification of adaptive changes in an evolving population of Escherichia coli: The role of changes with regulatory and highly pleiotropic effects. Mo­l. Biol. Evoln.8:261-281.

Field of Study

Evolutionary Genetics

International Experience


Collaborator, Necker Hopital des Enfants Malades, Univ Rene Descartes (AY2005-present)
Faculty Exchange, CNRS University Toulouse (AY2006-2007)



NIH-GMS                                                         PI: Sherlock (Stanford), co-PI: Rosenzweig                                      Project Title: Molecular Characterization of Adaptive Evolution  Project Description: Using the model eukaryote Bakers yeast, we will assess how populations explore adaptive landscapes, whether adaptive mutations are beneficial or detrimental in environments other than those in which they evolved, and whether early-arising mutations constrain subsequent evolutionary trajectories.

NASA                                                          PI: Rosenzweig, co-PI: Sherlock (Stanford)                                            Project Title: E unibus plurum: Ecological and Genomic Constraints on the Evolution of Complexity. Project Description: The goal of this research is to systematically investigate the roles that genotype and resource type play in determining the evolution of metabolic interdependence in asexual microbes. 

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation                     PI – Rosenzweig, co-PI: Hoffman (UWMC)                                        Project Title: Effects of Polymicrobial Interactions on Hypermutator Incidence and Hypermutator-associated P. aeruginosa Adaptation in Chronic Infection of the CF lung.  Project Description: This project is aimed at understanding the effects of polymicrobial interactions on hypermutator incidence and hypermutator-associated P. aeruginosa adaptations in chronic infection of the CF lung.



Evgueny Kroll, Ph.D. (Asst Research Professor) – Yeast evolutionary genetics

Research Associates
Karen Schmidt, B.S. (Lab Manager)
Margie Kinnersley, Ph.D – Bacterial population biology and evolution
Matthew Herron, Ph.D. – Protistan population biology and evolution

Graduate Students
Carla Boulianne-Larsen – P. aeruginsoa and S. aureus co-evolution

Undergraduate Researchers
Eric Dunham - Hypermutation in clincial P. aeruginosa (ASM undergrad fellow)                                                                 Jacob Boswell - Experimental evolution of multicellularity
Jacob Childress - Evolution of E. coli hypermutators


BIOL101N - The Science of Life

BIO272 - Genetics and Evolution

MICB404 - Microbial Genetics

MICB405 - Experimental Microbial Genetics

BIOL497 - Advanced Undergraduate Research