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Department of Biological Science

at Florida State University

Biological Science Faculty Member

Dr. Kathryn M. Jones

  • Office: 230A Biology Unit I
  • Office: (850) 645-8743
  • Lab: Biology Unit I
  • Lab: (850) 645-9202
  • Fax: (850) 644-0481
  • Mail code: 4370
  • E-mail:
Dr. Kathryn M. Jones

Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of Chicago, 2001
Graduate Faculty Status

POSITIONS AVAILABLE for postdoctoral investigators, graduate students, and undergraduate students

Research and Professional Interests:

I am interested in the symbiotic interaction between nitrogen-fixing rhizobial bacteria and their legume host plants. We use the agriculturally-important bacteria Sinorhizobium meliloti and Sinorhizobium medicae and their interactions with their plant hosts alfalfa and Medicago truncatula as a study system. Our goals are to understand: 1) How bacteria interact with and manipulate their environment during host plant invasion in such a way that the plant not only permits entry, but provides an invasion pathway for them; 2) Why the interactions of specific strains of Sinorhizobium with particular ecotypes of host plant species more successful than others and how the productivity of these interactions are controlled at the molecular level; 3) At what level host plants control the flow of resources to productive symbionts at the expense of unproductive symbionts (cheaters). We also have collaborations with the Stroupe lab (FSU) on the diversity and structural differentiation of phages of rhizobial bacteria, and with the Gabriel lab (UF) on citrus greening disease/HLB

Selected Publications:

Johnson, M. C., M. Sena-Velez, B. K. Washburn, G. N. Platt, S. Lu, T. E. Brewer, J. S. Lynn, M. Stroupe, and K. M. Jones (2017) Structure, proteome and genome of Sinorhizobium meliloti phage Φ M5: A virus with LUZ24-like morphology and a highly mosaic genome. Journal of Structural Biology (in press): .
(pdf) (open access

Mendis, H. C., T. F. Madzima, C. Queiroux, and K. M. Jones (2016) Function of succinoglycan polysaccharide in Sinorhizobium meliloti host plant invasion depends on succinylation, not molecular weight. mBIO 7: e00606-16.

Johnson, M. C., K. B. Tatum, J. S. Lynn, T. E. Brewer, S. Lu, B. K. Washburn, M. E. Stroupe, and K. M. Jones (2015) Sinorhizobium meliloti phage ΦM9 defines a new group of T4-superfamily phages with unusual genomic features, but a common T=16 capsid. Journal of Virology 89: 10945–10958.
(open access

Brewer, T. E., M. E. Stroupe, and K. M. Jones(corresponding) (2014) The genome, proteome and phylogenetic analysis of Sinorhizobium meliloti phage ΦM12, the founder of a new group of T4-superfamily phages. Virology 450-451: 84-97.
(Open access

Stroupe (corresponding), M. E., T. E. Brewer, D. R. Sousa, and K. M. Jones (2014) The structure of Sinorhizobium meliloti phage ΦM12, which has a novel T=19l triangulation number and is the founder of a new group of T4-superfamily phages. Virology 450-451: 205-212.

Mendis, H. C., C. Queiroux, T. E. Brewer, O. M. Davis, B. K. Washburn, and K. M. Jones (2013) The succinoglycan endoglycanase encoded by exoK is required for efficient symbiosis of Sinorhizobium meliloti 1021 with the host plants Medicago truncatula and Medicago sativa (alfalfa). Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 26: 1089-1105.
(open access) (Sept. 2013 MPMI cover photo) (Abstract

Jones, K. M., H. C. Mendis, and C. Queiroux (2013) Single-plant, sterile microcosms for nodulation and growth of the legume plant Medicago truncatula with the rhizobial symbiont Sinorhizobium meliloti . JoVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments) Issue 80: .
(Jove link

Queiroux, C., B. K. Washburn, O. M. Davis, J. Stewart, T. E. Brewer, M. R. Lyons, and K. M. Jones (2012) A comparative genomics screen identifies a Sinorhizobium meliloti 1021 sodM-like gene strongly expressed within host plant nodules . BMC Microbiology 12: 15pp.
(open access

Jones, K. M. (2012) Increased production of the exopolysaccharide succinoglycan enhances Sinorhizobium meliloti 1021 symbiosis with the host plant Medicago truncatula . Journal of Bacteriology 194: 4322-4331.
(Journal of Bacteriology 194:4322-4331, open access) (American Society for Microbiology--featured in Journal Highlights in the Aug. 2012 issue of ASM

Postdoctoral Associates:

Sena-Velez, Marta

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