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)

Bobay, L. M., B. S. Ellis, H. Ochman (2018). ConSpeciFix: Classifying prokaryotic species based on gene flow. Bioinformatics. 2018 May 16. doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/bty400. [Epub ahead of print]

Traverse, C. C. and H. Ochman (2018). A Genome-Wide Assay Specifies Only GreA as a Transcription Fidelity Factor in Escherichia coli. G3 (Bethesda). 2018 May 16. pii: g3.200209.2018. doi: 10.1534/g3.118.200209. [Epub ahead of print]

Quandt, E. M., C. C. Traverse, and H. Ochman. (2018). Local genic base composition impacts protein production and cellular fitness. PeerJ. 6:e4286. doi: 10.7717/peerj.4286.

Costea, P.I., F. Hildebrand, A. Manimozhiyan, F. Bäckhed, M. J. Blaser, F. D. Bushman, W. M. de Vos, S. D. Ehrlich, C. M. Fraser, M. Hattori, C. Huttenhower, I. B. Jeffery, D. Knights, J. D. Lewis, R. E. Ley, H. Ochman, P. W. O'Toole, C. Quince, D. A. Relman, F. Shanahan, S. Sunagawa, J. Wang, G. M.Weinstock, G. D. Wu, G. Zeller, L. Zhao, J. Raes, R. Knight , and P. Bork. (2018). Enterotypes in the landscape of gut microbial community composition. Nat Microbiol. 3: 8-16. doi: 10.1038/s41564-017-0072-8.

Nishida, A. H. and H. Ochman (2017). Rates of Gut Microbiome Divergence in Mammals. Mol Ecol. 2017 Dec 31. doi: 10.1111/mec.14473. [Epub ahead of print]

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.