Gajender Aleti, PhD

Post-Doctoral Fellow



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In February 2017, Gajender Aleti, PhD, joined the oral microbiology group at J. Craig Venter Institute, led by Dr. Anna Edlund, to understand and exploit the chemical and biological interactions among the complex oral microbiome. Towards this, Dr. Aleti has been involved in identifying bacterial taxa and biosynthetic gene clusters encoding high diversity of novel bioactive small molecules influencing both health and disease.

Prior to joining JCVI, his PhD work led to identification of many yet un-characterized non-ribosomal peptide and polyketide biosynthetic pathways in plant-associated bacteria. Dr. Aleti attained a Masters in Biotechnology in 2005 from Osmania University in India. In 2008, he moved to Scotland and pursued a Masters in Bioinformatics at University of Abertay Dundee. Thereafter he joined Cardiff University for a Wellcome Trust funded project to study gene function in the testes of the fruit fly Drosophila. In 2011 he moved to Austria and further continued his work on Drosophila genetics at Veterinary Medicine University in Vienna. He then advanced his career by pursuing a PhD at AIT Austrian Institute of Technology in association with University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences.

Research Priorities

Exploring biosynthetic capacity of the human oral microbiome

  • A focus on genome mining to identify both known and uncharacterized microbial biosynthetic gene clusters, as well as linking these to their small molecule metabolites associated with health and oral disease states.

Identifying, characterizing beneficial oral bacteria and their mechanisms of interactions with broad range of known oral pathogens

  • Selecting potential probiotic bacterial candidates from Lactobacillus and Streptococcus and investigating their mode of action during modulation of oral microbiome functioning.
  • Targeting small molecule mediated antagonist interactions between probiotic candidates and pathogens.

Select Publications

Secondary metabolite genes encoded by potato rhizosphere microbiomes in the Andean highlands are diverse and vary with sampling site and vegetation stage.
Scientific reports. 2017-05-24; 7.1: 2330.
PMID: 28539610
Surfactin variants mediate species-specific biofilm formation and root colonization in Bacillus.
Environmental microbiology. 2016-09-01; 18.8: 2634-45.
PMID: 27306252
The Draft Genome Sequence of Paenibacillus polymyxa Strain CCI-25 Encompasses High Potential for Secondary Metabolite Production.
Genome announcements. 2016-05-19; 4.3:
PMID: 27198015
Genome mining: Prediction of lipopeptides and polyketides from Bacillus and related Firmicutes.
Computational and structural biotechnology journal. 2015-01-01; 13.192-203.
PMID: 25893081
Wake-up-call, a lin-52 paralogue, and Always early, a lin-9 homologue physically interact, but have opposing functions in regulating testis-specific gene expression.
Developmental biology. 2011-07-15; 355.2: 381-93.
PMID: 21570388