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Ph.D. University of Minnesota
Phone: (818) 677-3386
Fax: (818) 677-2034
Office: Magnolia Hall 4107
My research interests center around the bacterial biodegradation of toxic compounds such as pesticides and other organic compounds which are not readily degraded in the environment. We identify bacteria with new biodegradation capabilities and study both the biodegradation enzymes and the structure and regulation of the corresponding genes. We routinely conduct enzyme purification and characterization studies and employ various molecular biological techniques to isolate and characterize biodegradation genes. Currently we are studying the degradation of multi-ring aromatic com-pounds, chlorinated aromatic compounds, and neurotoxic insecticides with particular emphasis on the ring-fission dioxygenases or hydrolases involved in the initial breakdown or detoxification of these compounds.
We are also interested in developing and using rapid molecular techniques that allow both the detection and quantitation of microorganisms in the environment (e.g. bacterial fish pathogens), or in food samples (e.g. spore-forming spoilage bacteria in foods). Another research program involves the mechanisms of pathogenesis of Flexibacter maritimus, a marine fish pathogen.
2000. Argueta, C., S. Yoder, A. Holtzman, T. Aronson, N. Glover, O.G.W. Berlin, G. Stelma Jr., S. Froman, and P.H. Tomasek. Isolation and Identification of Nontuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM) From Foods as Possible Sources of Infection. J. Food Protection 63:930-933.
1999. Yoder, S., C. Argueta, A. Holtzman, T. Aronson, O.G.W. Berlin, P.H. Tomasek, N. Glover, S. Froman, and G. Stelma, Jr. Comparison of Mycobacterium avium isolates obtained from patients and foods using polymerase chain reaction. Appl. and Environ. Microbiol. 65: 2650-2653.
1991. Chen, C.-M. and P.H. Tomasek. 3,4-Dihydroxyxanthone dioxygenase from Arthrobacter sp. strain GFB100. Appl. and Environ. Microbiol. 57:2217-2222.
1991. Karns, J.S., and P.H. Tomasek. Carbofuran hydrolase - purification and properties. J. Agric. and Food Chem. 39: 1004-1008.
1989. Tomasek, P.H. and J.S. Karns. Cloning of a carbofuran hydrolase gene from Achromobacter sp. strain WM111 and its expression in Gram-negative bacteria. J. Bacteriol. 171: 4038-4044.
1989. Tomasek, P.H., B. Frantz, U.M.X. Sangodkar, R.A. Haugland, and A.M. Chakrabarty. Characterization and nucleotide sequence determination of a repeat element isolated from a 2,4,5-T degrading strain of Pseudomonas cepacia. Gene. 76: 227-238.
1986. Tomasek, P.H., and R.L. Crawford. Initial reactions of xanthone biodegradation by an Arthrobacter sp. J. Bacteriol. 167: 818-827.