Mary Lidstrom

Mary Lidstrom

Mary Lidstrom


Mary Lidstrom

Professor of Chemical Engineering and Microbiology 

Frank Jungers Endowed Chair of Engineering
Vice Provost for Research

Office: G80 Gerberding Hall
Phone: 206-685-1751


  • B.S., Oregon State University, 1973.
  • M.S., University of Wisconsin, 1975.
  • Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 1977

Research Interests 

Genomic and metabolic manipulations of methylotrophic bacteria. Genomic, physiological and metabolic modeling approaches are used to understand metabolic networks in these bacteria, with the goal of directed manipulation of key metabolic pathways and enzymes for environmentally benign chemical production from methanol.
Physiological heterogeneity of individual cells of M. extorquens AM1 to understand how the behavior of individual cells directs population outcomes during response to stress. 

Biomolecular Engineering, Metabolic Engineering

Bacteria as a group possess an almost unlimited and largely untapped catalytic resource for the chemical industry. Not only can bacteria carry out a complex array of stereospecific transformations, these can normally be accomplished in a way that eliminates production of toxic waste products. The ability to apply modern molecular techniques to a broad group of metabolically diverse bacteria, coupled to the current revolution in genomic sequence availability in biology has provided a new opportunity to exploit the metabolic potential of this large group of organisms. This research program is focused on molecular and metabolic manipulations of a specific group of bacteria, the methylotrophs, with the goal of developing environmentally sound and economically viable alternatives to current chemical production. 
Methylotrophs are bacteria that grow on methane or methanol. They contain unique metabolic pathways that allow them to grow on these simple substrates, and they contain a series of versatile oxidative enzymes involved in methylotrophic metabolism. Sophisticated genetic techniques have been developed for studying and manipulating these enzymes and metabolic pathways, and genomic sequences are becoming available for key strains. Therefore, this group of bacteria represent an excellent system for developing biologically based chemical production strategies. 

Recent Publications

  • Chu F, Beck DA, Lidstrom ME. MxaY regulates the lanthanide-mediated methanol dehydrogenase switch in Methylomicrobium buryatense. PeerJ. 2016 Sep 7;4:e2435. doi: 10.7717/peerj.2435.
  • Fu Y, Beck DA, Lidstrom ME. Difference in C3-C4 metabolism underlies tradeoff between growth rate and biomass yield in Methylobacterium extorquens AM1. BMC Microbiol. 2016 Jul 19;16(1):156. doi: 10.1186/s12866-016-0778-4.
  • Hu B, Yang YM, Beck DA, Wang QW, Chen WJ, Yang J, Lidstrom ME, Yang S. 2016. Comprehensive molecular characterization of Methylobacterium extorquens AM1 adapted for 1-butanol tolerance. Biotechnol Biofuels. 2016 Apr 11;9:84
  • Chu F, Lidstrom ME. 2016. XoxF acts as the predominant methanol dehydrogenase in the type I methanotroph Methylomicrobium buryatense. J Bacteriol. 198:1317-25.
  • Yan X, Chu F, Puri AW, Fu Y, Lidstrom ME. 2016. Electroporation-based genetic manipulation in Type I methanotrophs. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2016 Jan 22. pii: AEM.03724-15. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Reaser BC, Yang S, Fitz BD, Parsons BA, Lidstrom ME, Synovec RE. 2016.  Non-targeted determination of (13)C-labeling in the Methylobacterium extorquens AM1 metabolome using the two-dimensional mass cluster method and principal component analysis. J Chromatogr A. 1432:111-21.
  • de la Torre, A, Metivier, A, Chu, F, Laurens, LM, Beck, DAC, Pienkos, PT, Lidstrom ME & Kalyuzhnaya MG. Genome-scale metabolic reconstructions and theoretical investigation of methane conversion in Methylomicrobium buryatense Strain 5G(B1). Micro Cell Fact 14, 188 (2015).
  • Gilman, A, Laurens, LL, Puri, AW, Chu, F, Pienkos, PT & Lidstrom, ME. Bioreactor performance parameters for an industrially-promising methanotroph Methylomicrobium buryatense 5GB1. Microb Cell Fact 14, 182 (2015).
  • Martinez-Gomez, NC, Good, NM & Lidstrom, ME. Methenyl-Dephosphotetrahydromethanopterin Is a regulatory signal for acclimation to changes in substrate availability in Methylobacterium extorquens AM1. J Bacteriol 197, 2020-6 (2015).
  • McTaggart, T.; Beck, D.; Setboonsarng, U.; Shapiro, N.; Woyke, T.; Lidstrom, M.; Kalyuzhnaya, M.; Chistoserdova, L. Genomics of Methylotrophy in gram-positive  methylamine-utilizing bacteria. Microorganisms 2015, 3(1), 94-112; doi:10.3390/microorganisms3010094.
  • Martinez-Gomez NC, Good NM, Lidstrom ME 2015. Methenyl-Dephosphotetrahydromethanopterin Is a regulatory signal for acclimation to changes in substrate availability in Methylobacterium extorquens AM1. J Bacteriol. 197(12):2020-6.
  • Kalyuzhnaya M, Puri AW, Lidstrom ME. 2015. Metabolic engineering in methanotrophic bacteria. Metab Eng. 29:142-52.
  • Siegel JB, Smith AL, Poust S, Wargacki AJ, Bar-Even A, Louw C, Shen BW, Eiben CB, Tran HM, Noor E, Gallaher J, Bale J, Yoshikuni Y, Gelb M, Keasling JD, Stoddard BL, Lidstrom ME, Baker D. Computational protein design enables a novel one-carbon assimilation pathway. 2015 March 9. PNAS doi: 10.1073/pnas.1500545112