Emeritus Professor Profile Image
Emeritus Professor Biological Sciences pblum1@unl.edu 402-472-2769 Beadle Center E234

Research Interests

We study the molecular basis for life at high temperature using genetic approaches to provide in vivo answers. The research outcomes provide solutions to societal needs including renewable energy, sustainable mining, vaccines and RNA chemistry. We use archaea, bacteria, fungi and algae as platforms for genetic engineering to create new traits and to ask basic questions.  Our research is strongly interdisciplinary merging biology with chemistry, engineering with geology. Field work at geothermal sites provides another research component.

Recent Publications

  • Tevatia, R., J. Allen, P. Blum, Y. Demirel, and P. Black. 2014. Modeling of rhythmic behavior in neutral lipid production due to continuous supply of limited nitrogen: Mutual growth and lipid accumulation in microalgae. Bioresource Technol. 170:152-159.
  • McCarthy, S., C. Ai, G. Wheaton, R. Tevatia, V. Eckrich, R. Kelly, and P. Blum. 2014. Role of an archaeal PitA transporter in the copper and arsenic resistance of Metallosphaera sedula an extreme thermoacidophile. J. Bacteriol. 196(20):3562-70.
  • Tevatia, R., Y. Demirel and P. Blum. 2014. Influence of sub-environmental conditions and thermodynamic coupling on a simple reaction-transport process in biochemical systems. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research. 170C:152-159.
  • Mandal D, Köhrer C, Su D, Babu IR, Chan CT, Liu Y, Söll D, Blum P, Kuwahara M, Dedon PC, Rajbhandary UL. 2013. Identification and codon reading properties of 5-cyanomethyl uridine, a new modified nucleoside found in the anticodon wobble position of mutant haloarchaeal isoleucine tRNAs. RNA. Dec 16. Epub ahead of print.
  • Blum, P., 2013. Sowing seeds for STEM. Internatl. Innov. N. A., Dec. 116:51-3.
  • King, S., N. Soetan, M. Silva, L. Kramer, K. Choquette, C. Lahey, T. Colon, J. Becker, G. Kurgan, A.Marquez, B. Gaffigan, H. Cerutti and P. Blum. 2013. The Future of Natural Gas: A Millenial Perspective from NSF REU Scholars. Internatl. Innov. N.A., Dec. 116:54.
  • Schelert, J., D. Rudrappa, T. Johnson, and P. Blum. 2013. Role of MerH in mercury resistance in the archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus. Microbiology. 159(Pt 6):1198-208.
  • Le, T., J Trexel, A Brugler, K Tiebel, Y Maezato, B Robertson, and P Blum. 2013. Bar-coded enterobacteria: an undergraduate microbial ecology laboratory module. American Journal of Educational Research. 1(1):26-30.
  • Maezato Y., Blum P. 2012. Survival of the Fittest: Overcoming Oxidative Stress at the Extremes of Acid, Heat and Metal. Life.  2(3):229-242.
  • Tevatia, R., Y. Demirel, and P. Blum. 2012. Kinetic modeling of photoautotropic growth and neutral lipid accumulation in terms of ammonium concentration in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Bioresource Technology 119:419-424.
  • Blum, P. 2012. Energy and experience. International Innovation, Environment, June pp. 114-116.
  • Villafane, A., Y. Voskoboynik, I. Ruhl, D. Sannino1, Y. Maezato, P. Blum and E. Bini. 2011. CopR is a positive regulator of transcription of copper-responsive genes in Sulfolobus solfataricus. Microbiol. 2011 Oct;157(Pt 10):2808-17.
  • Maezato, Y., K. Dana and P. Blum. 2011. Engineering Thermoacidophilic Archaea Using Linear DNA Recombination. Chapter 26, pp. 435-445. Strain Engineering Methods and Protocols (James Williams, Editor) from Methods in Molecular Biology (Jon Walker, Series Editor), Humana Press, USA.
  • Maezato Y, Daugherty A, Dana K, Soo E, Cooper C, Tachdjian S, Kelly RM, Blum P. 2011. VapC6, a ribonucleolytic toxin regulates thermophilicity in the crenarchaeote Sulfolobus solfataricus. RNA 17(7):1381-92.
  • Wong JH, Brown JA, Suo Z, Blum P, Nohmi T, Ling H. 2010. Structural insight into dynamic bypass of the major cisplatin-DNA adduct by Y-family polymerase Dpo4. EMBO J. 29:2059-2069.
  • Friest. J. A., Y. Maezato, S. Broussy, P. Blum and D. B. Berkowitz. 2010. Use of a Robust Dehydrogenase from an Archael Hyperthermophile in Asymmetric Catalysis-Dynamic Reductive Kinetic Resolution Entry into (S)-Profens. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 132:5930-5931.
  • Miller P. and P. Blum. 2010. Extremophile-Inspired Strategies for Enzymatic Biomass Saccharification. Environmental Technology. (In Press).
  • Mandal, D., Kohrer, C., Su, D., Russell, S.P., Krivos, K., Castleberry, C.M., Blum, P., Limbach, P.A., Soll, D., and Uttam, L. R. 2010. Agmatidine, a modified cytidine in the anticodon of archaeal tRNAIle, base pairs with adenosine but not with guanosine. PNAS 107(7):2872-2877.
  • Maaty, W.S., Wiedenheft, B., Tarlykov, P., Schaff, N., Heinemann, J., Robison-Cox, J., Valenzuela, J., Dougherty, A., Blum, P., Lawrence, C.M., Douglas, T., Young, M.J., and Bothner, B. 2009. Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed; How the Thermoacidophilic Archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus Responds to Oxidative Stress. PLoS ONE, September, 4(9), e6964 (pp 1-17).
  • Cooper CR, Daugherty AJ, Tachdjian S, Blum PH, Kelly RM. 2009. Role of vapBC toxin-antitoxin loci in the thermal stress response of Sulfolobus solfataricus. Biochem Soc Trans. 37(Pt 1):123-6.
  • Auernik, K.S., Maezato, Y., Blum, P., and Kelly, R.M.. 2008. Genome sequence of the metal-mobilizing, extremely thermoacidophilic archaeon Metallosphaera sedula provides insights into bioleaching metabolism. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 74:682-692.
  • Blum, P. 2008 (Editor) Archaea, new models for prokaryotic biology. (248 p.) Horizon Press, Norwich UK.
  • Sowers, K. R., P. H. Blum, and S. DasSarma. 2007. Gene transfer in archaea. Chp 33, pp. 800-824. In, C. A. Reddy, T. J. Beveridge, J. A. Breznak, G. A. Marzluf, and T. M. Schmidt (ed.), Methods for General and Molecular Microbiology. American Society for Microbiology Press, Washington D.C.
  • Szabo Z, Sani M, Groeneveld M, Zolghadr B, Schelert J, Albers SV, Blum P, Boekema EJ, Driessen AJ. 2007. Flagellar motility and structure in the hyperthermoacidophilic archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus. J Bacteriol. 189:4305-4309.
  • Schelert, J., M. Drozda,V. Dixit, A. Dillman and P. Blum. 2006. Regulation of mercury resistance in the crenarchaeote Sulfolobus solfataricus. J Bacteriol. 2006 188:7141-50.
  • Ernst, H.A., L. L. Leggio, M. Willemoës, G. Leonard, P. Blum|, and Sine Larsen. 2006. Structure of the Sulfolobus solfataricus alpha-glucosidase: Implications for domain conservation and substrate recognition in GH31 J. Molec. Biol. 358:1106-1124.
  • Blum, P. 2006. Understanding Viability of Pathogens During Disinfection, 00-HHE-1. Water Env. Fed. pp 1- 65.
  • Ernst, H.A., Willemoës, M., Lo Leggio, L., Leonard, G., Blum, P., and Larsen, S. 2005. Crystallization and preliminary crystallographic characterization of the a-glucosidase MalA from Sulfolobus solfataricus. Acta Cryst. F61:1039-1042.
  • Simbahan, J., E. Redfield, and P. Blum. 2005. Community analysis of a mercury hot spring supports occurrence of domain-specific forms of mercuric reductase. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 71:8836-8845.
  • Hoang, V., E. Bini, V. Dixit, M. Drozda, and P. Blum. 2004. The role of cis-acting sequences governing catabolite repression control of lacS expression in the archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus. Genetics. 167:1563-1572.
  • Simbahan, J., R. Drijber, and P. Blum. 2004. Alicyclobacillus vulcanalis sp. nov., a new thermophilic, acidophilic bacterium isolated from Coso Hot Springs, California, USA. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 54:1703-1707.
  • Korencic, D., I., Ahel, J., Schelert, M., Sacher, B., Ruana, C., Stathopoulosa, P., Blum, M., Ibba, and D. Söll. 2004. A freestanding proofreading domain is required for protein synthesis quality control in Archaea. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 101:10260-10265.
  • Chen, H., G. Ponniah, N. Solanen, and P. Blum. 2004. Culture-independent analysis of fecal enterobacteria in environmental samples by single cell mRNA profiling. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 70:4432-4439.
  • Dixit, V., M. Drozda, E. Bini and P. Blum. 2004. Mecury targets transcription in the archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 48:1993-1999.
  • Schelert, J., V. Dixit, V. Hoang, J. Simbahan, M. Drozda and P. Blum. 2004. Occurrence and characterization of mercury resistance in the hyperthermophilic archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus using gene disruption. J. Bacteriology 186:427-437.
  • Sowers, K. R., P. H. Blum, and S. DasSarma. 2007. Gene transfer in archaea. Chp 33, pp. 800-824. In, C. A. Reddy, T. J. Beveridge, J. A. Breznak, G. A. Marzluf, and T. M. Schmidt (ed.), Methods for General and Molecular Microbiology. American Society for Microbiology Press, Washington D.C.
  • Ponniah, G., H. Chen, R. Michielutti, N. Salonen and P. Blum. 2003. Single cell protein profiling of wastewater enterobacterial communities predicts disinfection efficiency. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. (In Press).
  • Haseltine, C., T. Hill, R. Montalvo-Rodriguez, S. Kemper, R. Shand, and P. Blum. 2001. Secreted euryarchaeal microhalocins kill hyperthermophilic crenarchaea. J. Bacteriol. 183: 287-291.
  • Montalvo-Rodriguez, R., C. Haseltine, K. Huess-LaRossa, T. Clemente, J. Soto, P. Staswick and P. Blum. 2000. Autohydrolysis of plant polysaccharides using transgenic hyperthermophilic enzymes. Biotechnology and Bioengineering 70:151-159.
  • Haseltine, C., R. Montalvo-Rodriguez, A.Carl, E. Bini and P. Blum. 1999. Extragenic pleiotropic mutations that repress glycosyl hydrolase expression in the hyperthermophilic archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus. Genetics 152:1353-1361
  • Worthington, P., V. Hoang, P. Perez-Pomares, and P. Blum. 2003. Targeted disruption of the a- amylase gene in the hyperthermophilic archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus. J. Bacteriol. 185:482- 488.
  • Worthington, P., P. Blum, F. Perez-Pomares, and T. Elthon. 2003. Large scale cultivation of acidophilic hyperthermophiles for recovery of secreted proteins. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 69:252-257.
  • Bini, E., V. Dikshit, K. Dirksen, M. Drozda, and P. Blum. 2002. Stability of mRNA in hyperthermophilic archaea. RNA 8:1129-1136.
  • Blum, P. and V. Dikshit. 2002. Archaea. In "Desk Encyclopedia of Microbiology", M. Schaechter (ed). Academic Press, New York.
  • Blum, P. 2001. (Ed.), Archaea, ancient microbes, extreme environments and the origin of life. Adv. Appl. Microbiol. vol. 50, pp. 1-382. Academic Press, New York.
  • Bini, E., and P. Blum. 2001. Archaeal catabolite repression: a gene regulatory paradigm. Adv. Appl. Microbiol. 50: 339-366.
  • Montalvo-Rodriguez, R., C. Haseltine, K. Huess-LaRossa, T. Clemente, J. Soto, P. Staswick and P. Blum. 2000. Autohydrolysis of plant polysaccharides using transgenic hyperthermophilic enzymes. Biotechnology and Bioengineering 70:151-159.

Associate Director, Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research

  • Microbial Extremophile Biology; Human Neuron Biology
  • Ph.D. University of California- Davis
  • B.A. University of California-Berkeley