AmandaLab2015AAUW_83-crop1 Screen Shot 2022-02-01 at 9.22.22 PM IMG-7207 IMG-8898

Dr. Brown’s Lab at Texas Tech University focuses on host-associated microbes  — especially beneficial microbes — to understand genomic, evolutionary, ecological, and functional traits that stabilize these associations. We focus on omics and bioinformatics approaches. Host systems include insects, nematodes, plants, and other hosts. See what our exciting team of award-winning students is doing!

In 2021, Dr. Brown received a NSF CAREER Award jointly funded by the USDA, titled “CAREER: Discovering hidden drivers of rhizosphere symbiosis and parasitism” to study how endosymbionts such as Wolbachia and Cardinium impact plant-parasitic nematodes. In 2021 she also received a USDA Higher Education grant “Advanced Multidisciplinary Training in Agricultural Microbiome Science“.

Note: Our lab is now completely full. We are not accepting new grad students through 2022-2023.

Check Out Our Recent Publications:

2022    Weyandt N, Aghdam SA, Brown AMV. Discovery of early-branching Wolbachia reveals functional enrichment on horizontally transferred genes. Frontiers in Microbiology [In Press]

2021 Hill BM, Bisht K, Atkins GR, Gomez AA, Rumbaugh KP, Wakeman CA, Brown AMV. Lysis-Hi-C as a method to study polymicrobial communities and eDNA. Molecular Ecology Resources 2021:00,1-14.

2021 Salazar MM, Pupo MT, Brown AMV. Co-occurrence of viruses, plant pathogens, and symbionts in an underexplored hemipteran clade. Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology 11:715998.

2021 Ivanova M, Oh B, Khan IUH, Nightingale K, Bugarel M, Brown AMV, Loneragan GH. Draft Genome Assemblies of TwoCampylobacter novaezeelandiae and Four Unclassified Thermophilic Campylobacter Isolates from Canadian Agricultural Surface Water. Microbiology Resource Announcements 10(17): e00249-21.

2021 Aghdam SA, Brown AMV. Deep learning approaches for natural product discovery from plant endophytic microbiomes. Environmental Microbiome 16:6.

2021 Myers KN, Conn D, Brown AMV. Essential amino acid enrichment and positive selection highlight endosymbiont’s role in a global virus-vectoring pest. mSystems 6: e01048-20.

2019 Wasala SK, Brown AMV, Kang J, Howe DK, Peetz AB, Zasada IA, Denver DR. Variable abundance and distribution of Wolbachia and Cardinium endosymbionts in plant-parasitic nematode field populations. Frontiers in Microbiology 10:964.

2018 Howe DK, Smith M, Tom D, Brown AMV, Peetz AB, Zasada IA, Denver DR. Analysis of nematode-endosymbiont coevolution in the Xiphinema americanum species complex using molecular markers of variable evolutionary rates. Nematology 21(5): 533–546.

2018 Brown AMV, Wasala SK, Howe DK, Peetz AB, Zasada IA, Denver DR. Comparative genomics of WolbachiaCardinium dual endosymbiosis in a plant-parasitic nematode. Frontiers in Microbiology 9:2482.

2018 Brown AMV. Endosymbionts of plant-parasitic nematodes. Annual Review of Phytopathology 56:225-242.

2017 Phillips WS, Howe DK, Brown AMV, Eves-van Den Akker S, Dettwyler L, Peetz AB, Denver DR, Zasada IA. The draft genome of Globodera ellingtonae. Journal of Nematology 42(2):127-128.

2016 Brown AMV, Wasala SK, Howe DK, Peetz AB, Zasada IA, Denver DR. Genomic evidence for plant-parasitic nematodes as the earliest Wolbachia hosts. Scientific Reports 6: 34955.

2016 Phillips WS, Brown AMV, Howe DK, Peetz AB, Blok VC, Denver DR, Zasada IA. The mitochondrial genome of Globodera ellingtonae is composed of two circles with segregated gene content and differential copy numbers. BMC Genomics 17:706.

2016 Denver DR, Brown AMV, Howe DK, Peetz AB, Zasada IA. Genome skimming: a rapid approach to gaining diverse biological insights into multicellular pathogens. PLoS Pathogens 12(8): e1005713.

2015 Brown AMV, Howe DK, Peetz AB, Wasala SK, Zasada IA, Denver DR. Comparative genomics of an endosymbiont in a plant-parasitic nematode suggest a role in nutritional symbiosis. Genome Biology & Evolution 7(9):2727-2746.

2014 Brown AMV, Huynh LY, Bolender CM, Nelson KG, McCutcheon JP. Population genomics of a symbiont in the early stages of a pest invasion. (Invited original research article for Nature’s Microbiome). Molecular Ecology 23:1516-1530.

Breaking News:

April 2022 Newest publication from the Brown lab: Discovery of Early-Branching WolbachiaReveals Functional Enrichment on Horizontally Transferred Genes

March 2022 Great poster presentations by our lab members as the 14th TTU Undergraduate Research Conference: Liane Vásquez-Weber “Building a physiological gray-box computer model of the gut-brain-axis”, Sushim Mishra and Daniel Hsia “Molecular analysis of the effect of probiotics on cattle rumen methane emissions”, Kierra Hughes “Transcriptomics of microbiomes from salivary glands and gut of mosquitoes”, and Christina Kelley “Characterizing insect-bacterial symbiosis in membracids from the U.S. and Brazil” !

January 2022 Our lab welcomes new PhD student Era Sharma.
October 2021 Our lab at Texas Tech has a new postdoc position available to study rhizosphere symbiosis and parasitism. Skills should include bioinformatics/genomics- apply here: BROWN LAB POST DOC POSITION
September 2021 Our lab welcomes new PhD students Christian Guerrero and Hana Ghavanloughajar, new MS student Taranjot Kaur, and non-thesis MS student Amanda Ramirez.
August 2021 Amanda M.V. Brown has received a joint National Science Foundation/ U.S. Department of Agriculture grant!
June 2021 Amanda M.V. Brown with TTU colleagues has received a USDA Higher Education grant!
July 2021 Congratulations to Simrandeep Singh for successfully defending his Master’s Thesis on June 28, titled “Bioinformatic analysis of endophytic microbiomes from banana uncovers novel antimicrobial gene clusters”
March 2021 Congratulations to Liane Vásquez-Weber, undergraduate researcher in the Brown Lab, for winning the Goldwater Scholarship!
October 2020 We are thrilled to congratulate Mirena Ivanova on a fantastic PhD defense after a two year collaboration in our lab! Genomic and molecular identification and characterization of Enterobacteriaceae and Campylobacter spp
September 2020 Our lab is excited to welcome new PhD students McKinlee Salazar, Jesse White, and Amandeep Kaur!
August 2020 Congratulations to Kaitlyn Myers for successfully completing her non-thesis MS!
June 2020 Congratulations to Yaireth Castro for successfully defending her Master’s thesis on the human skin microbiome as forensic trace evidence!
Congratulations to undergraduate CISER student, Georgia-Rae Atkins, for winning the prestigious merit-based Rushing Scholarship!
May 2020 Congratulations to undergraduate McKinlee Lewis for winning the Distinguished Graduate Student Assistantship (DGSA) award to begin a PhD in the Brown Lab in fall 2020!

May 2020

Congratulations to graduating students for spring 2020 who are current or former Brown Lab researchers: Amy Gomez, McKinlee Lewis, Aneesa Harper, Abigail Bell, Shrinidi Joshi, Alejandro Hernandez, Reagan Ball, Kort Alexander!

February 2020

Congratulations to my Texas Tech CISER students for HiC (Georgia), eDNA (Amy), and Gut-Brain CS (Liane) research and winning 3 awards!

December 2019

Congratulations to Bravada Hill for successfully completing her Masters in Microbiology in the Brown Lab.

November 2019

Proud of high school Clark Scholar Sydney Pittignano’s ESA talk on leafhopper endosymbiont genomics and HGTs. Great Job Sydney! #entsoc19 #EntSoc19

May 2019 Honoured to share the 2019 Outstanding Woman Leader (OWL) Award presented by The West Texas Association for Women in STEAM (WTAWIS) award with Professor Paola Prada!

April 2019 Well done Brianna, and Reagan & Nick on your excellent poster presentations at the 2019 TTU Undergraduate Research Symposium!

March 2019 Brown lab returns to Brazil for continued collaboration and research with Dr. Mônica Pupo. Special thanks to FAPESP and TTU SPRINT for supporting our membracid research!

February 2019. Congratulations to Brown Lab undergraduate researcher and CISER student Shrinidhi Joshi for winning the Dr. Richard L. Blanton Endowment for Undergraduate Research Scholarship and the Gary & Nancy Fish Medical Missions Scholarship! Well done, Nidhi!

October 2018. New Publications

April 2018. Congratulations again to Bravada! Great job on winning First Prize for Proposal Presentation at the Texas Tech Annual Biological Sciences Symposium.

March 2018. Congratulations to Bravada Hill, Brown lab Master’s student, for winning the Helen DeVitt Jones Graduate Fellowship!

March 2018. Congratulations to Brown lab undergraduate researchers Abigail Bell and Nick Weyandt for presenting their exciting research at the TTU Undergraduate Research Symposium!

October 2018. Congratulations to Brown lab undergraduate researcher Eric Murphy for presenting his mosquito-Zika virus work at The National Diversity in STEM Conferences (SACNAS) in Salt Lake, Utah!

August 2017. We proudly welcome new PhD student and Fulbright Award recipient Hendra Sihaloho to the lab!

August 2017. We are pleased to welcome new Master’s Student Bravada Hill to the lab!

March 2017. Congratulations to Brown lab researchers Colton Eaton and Gabrielle White for presenting their exciting banana microbiome research at the TTU Undergraduate Research Symposium!

February 2017. We are proud to have been awarded a FAPESP SPRINT grant for research on Membracidae in Brazil with collaborator Mônica Pupo, U. Saõ Paulo