- Ph.D. , University of Wisconsin, 1/1970
- B.S. , Oklahoma State University
Summary Statement of Research Interests
Professor Deonier researches structure-function relationships for DNA-protein complexes. Specifically, he focuses on the transfer origin (oriT) of the Escherichia coli F plasmid, the site on the DNA where a strand-specific nick is introduced, and the point from which one of the two DNA strands of the plasmid is unwound and transferred to a recipient during bacterial conjugation. Conjugation, in which genes are exchanged between indvidual bacterium, is an important route for transmission of antibiotic resistances and virulence factors to pathogenic bacteria.
His studies have employed biological, biochemical and physical chemical approaches to define the structural elements of the transfer origin locus, which his team has shown to be extensive, spanning 200 base pairs, and how the locus’ structure is essential to its function.