Dept. of Integrative Biology The University of Texas at Austin

Howard Ochman

Howard Ochman

Professor, Department of Integrative Biology

We apply experimental, comparative and computational approaches to investigate the factors contributing to the evolution of bacterial genomes and microbial communities. Some of our current projects investigate:

The role of adaptive and non-adaptive processes in bacterial genome evolution
The causes and consequences of genome reduction in bacterial pathogens
The origins of new genes and functional complexity
The microbial community diversity residing in Great Ape hosts


Academic History

Professional History

Awards and Honors

Current Research Support

Scientific Activities

Dissertations Directed

Recent Publications (last three years)

Traverse, C.C., and H. Ochman (2017). Genome-wide spectra of transcription insertions and deletions reveal that slippage depends on RNA:DNA hybrid complementarity. mBio 8:e01230-17. doi: 10.1128/mBio.01230-17

Bobay, L. M., and H. Ochman (2017). Impact of recombination on the base composition of Bacteria and Archaea. Mol Biol Evol. 34(10):2627-2636. doi: 10.1093/molbev/msx189.

Bobay, L. M., and H. Ochman (2017). The evolution of bacterial genome architecture. Front Genet. 8:72. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2017.00072

Raymann, K., A. H. Moeller, A. L. Goodman, and H. Ochman (2017). Unexplored Archaeal diversity in the great ape gut aicrobiome. mSphere. 2(1). pii: e00026-17. doi: 10.1128/mSphere.00026-17.

Bobay, L.M., and H. Ochman (2017). Biological species are universal across Life's domains. Genome Biol Evol. 2017 Feb 10. doi: 10.1093/gbe/evx026. [Epub ahead of print]

Moeller, A. H., A. Caro-Quintero, D. Mjungu, A. V. Georgiev, E. V. Lonsdorf, M. N. Muller, A. E. Pusey, M. Peeters, B. H. Hahn, and H. Ochman (2016). Cospeciation of gut microbiota with hominids. Science 353: 380-382. doi: 10.1126/science.aaf3951

Wexler, A.G., Y. Bao, J. C. Whitney, L. M. Bobay, J. B. Xavier, W. B. Schofield, N. B. Barry, A. B. Russell, B. Q. Tran, Y. A. Goo, D. R. Goodlett, H. Ochman, J. D. Mougous , and A. L. Goodman (2016). Human symbionts inject and neutralize antibacterial toxins to persist in the gut. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 113: 3639-3644. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1525637113

H. Ochman (2016). Realizing Microbial Evolution. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 8(5). pii: a018101. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a018101

Traverse, C. C. and H. Ochman (2016). Conserved rates and patterns of transcription errors across bacterial growth states and lifestyles. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 113: 3311-3316. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1525329113

Moeller, A. H., S. Foerster, M. L. Wilson, A. E. Pusey, B. H. Hahn, and H. Ochman (2016). Social behavior shapes the chimpanzee pan-microbiome. Sci Adv. 2: e1500997.

Caro-Quintero, A. and H. Ochman (2015). Assessing the Unseen Bacterial Diversity in Microbial Communities. Genome Biol Evol. 2015 Nov 27. pii: evv234. [Epub ahead of print]

Bobay, L. M., C. C. Traverse, H. Ochman (2015). Impermanence of bacterial clones. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 112: 8893-8900.

Kelkar, Y. D., D. S. Phillips, and H. Ochman (2015). Effects of Genic Base Composition on Growth Rate in G+C-Rich Genomes.G3 (Bethesda). 5: 1247-1252.

Moeller, A. H., M. Peeters, A. Ayouba, E. M. Ngole, A. Esteban, B. H. Hahn, and H. Ochman (2015). Stability of the Gorilla Microbiome Despite SIV Infection. Mol Ecol. 4: 690-697. doi: 10.1111/mec.13057.

Raghavan, R., F. R. Kacharia, J. A. Millar, C. D. Sislak, and H. Ochman (2015). Genome rearrangements can make and break small RNA genes. Genome Biol Evol. 7: 557-566.

Waldor, M. K., G. Tyson, E. Borenstein, H. Ochman, A. Moeller, B. B. Finlay, H. H. Kong, J. I. Gordon, K. E. Nelson, K. Dabbagh K, and H. Smith (2015). Where Next for Microbiome Research? PLoS Biol. 13(1):e1002050.