Trevor C. Charles


Dr. Trevor CharlesBachelor of Science (BSc) UBC, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) McMaster


Telephone: (519) 888-4567 ext. 35606

Office: Biology 1 377C

Research interests

The general research area is bacterial molecular genetics.  We have a particular interest in members of the Rhizobiales order of the Alphaproteobacteria, such as Sinorhizobium meliloti, Bradyrhizobium japonicum, Agrobacterium tumefaciens, and Ochrobactrum anthropi.   These organisms are able to interact with eukaryal hosts in symbiotic or pathogenic relationships, and share several genetic factors that direct these relationships.  We are using comparative and functional genomics approaches to investigate some of these genetic factors so that we can improve our understand of these complex interactions.  Our research on functional genomics of microbial communities is directed towards functional metagenomics, which is the design and implementation of metagenomic library screens for the metabolic functions.  This is part of the Canadian MetaMicroBiome Library project, based at the University of Waterloo.

The Alfalfa nodule

Trevor C. Charles bacteria used for molecular genetics


Recent publications

  • Verastegui, Y., Cheng, J., Engel, K., Kolczynski, D., Mortimer, S., Lavigne, J, Montalibet, J., Romantsov, T., Hall, M., McConkey, B.J., Rose, D.R., Tomashek, J.J., Scott, B.R., Charles, T.C., Neufeld, J.D. 2014. Multi-substrate isotope labeling and metagenomic analysis of active soil bacterial communities. mBio 5 (4) e01157-14.

  • Cheng, J., Pinnell, L., Engel, K., Neufeld, J.D., Charles, T.C. 2014. Versatile broad-host-range cosmids for construction of high quality metagenomic libraries. J. Microbiol. Methods 99:27-34.

  • Lam, K.N., Hall, M.W., Engel, K., Vey, G., Cheng, J., Neufeld, J.D., Charles, T.C. 2014. Evaluation of a pooled strategy for high-throughput sequencing of cosmid clones from metagenomic libraries. PLoS ONE 9 (6) e98968.

  • Ali, S., Charles, T.C., Glick, B.R. 2014. Amelioration of high salinity stress damage by plant growth-promoting bacterial endophytes that contain ACC deaminase. Plant Physiol. Biochem. 80:160-167.

  • Bélanger, L., Charles, T.C. 2013. Members of the Sinorhizobium meliloti ChvI regulon identified by a DNA binding screen. BMC Microbiology 13:133.

  • Engel, K., Pinnell, L., Cheng, J., Charles, T.C., Neufeld, J.D. 2012. Nonlinear electrophoresis for purification of soil DNA for metagenomics. J. Microbiol. Methods 1:35-40.​

  • Schallmey, M., Ly, A., Wang, C., Meglei, G., Voget, S., Streit, W.R., Driscoll, B.T., Charles, T.C. 2011. Harvesting of novel polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) synthase encoding genes from a soil metagenome library using phenotypic screening. FEMS Microbiol. Lett. 321:150-156.

  • Heil, J.R., Nordeste, R.F., Charles, T.C. 2011. The Fluorescence Theatre: A cost-effective device using theatre gels for fluorescent protein and dye screening. Can. J. Microbiol. 57:339-342.
  • Hao, Y., Charles, T.C., Glick, B.R. 2011. ACC deaminase activity in the avirulent Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain D3. Can. J. Microbiol 57:278-286.
  • Nordeste, R.F., Trainer, M.A., Charles, T.C. 2010. Methods for the isolation of genes encoding novel PHB cycle enzymes from complex microbial communities. Methods Mol. Biol. 2010:235-246.
  • Hao, Y., Charles, T.C. and Glick, B.R. 2010. ACC deaminase increases the Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation frequency of commercial canola cultivars. FEMS Microbiol. Lett. 307:185-190.
  • Trainer, M.A., Capstick, D., Zachertowska, A., Lam, K.N., Clark, S.R. and Charles, T.C. 2010. Identification and characterization of the intracellular poly-3-hydroxybutyrate depolymerase enzyme PhaZ of Sinorhizobium meliloti. BMC Microbiol. 10:92.
  • Wang, C., Kemp, J., Da Fonseca, I.O., Equi, R.C., Sheng, X., Charles, T.C. and Sobral, B.W. 2010. Sinorhizobium meliloti 1021 loss-of-function deletion mutation in chvI and its phenotypic characteristics. Mol. Plant Microbe Interact. 23:153-160.
  • Hao, Y., Winans, S.C., Glick, B.R. and Charles, T.C. 2010. Identification and characterization of new LuxR/LuxI-type quorum sensing systems from metagenomic libraries. Environ. Microbiol. 12:105-117.

Awards and Honours

  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, NSERC (1991-1993)

Professional Associations

  • American Society for Microbiology
  • International Society for Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions
  • International Society for Microbial Ecology
  • Canadian Society for Microbiologists


Publication links on Google Scholar

University of Waterloo iGEM Team

University of Waterloo

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