Research Network for Metals in Medicine



Associate Professor Lindsay Sly

BSc (Qld) PhD (Qld) FASM FAIBiol

Position: Head of Department, Microbiology and Parasitology

Affiliation: University of Queensland, School of Molecular and Microbial Sciences

Postal Address:
Department of Microbiology and Parasitology
School of Molecular and Microbial Sciences
The University of Queensland
Brisbane Queensland 4072

Phone: +61 (07) 3365 2396

Research Profile

Microbial biodiversity, ecology and biotechnology - In my research laboratory we are passionate about exploring microbial biodiversity - the last frontier of unexplored biodiversity. We are interested in understanding the evolution and genetic diversity of bacteria, their ecology in natural and industrial environments, and their potential for exploitation in biotechnologies. The research is concerned with:

  • Microbial Diversity and Conservation.
  • Australian Microbial Resources.
  • Evolutionary and Molecular Ecology.
  • Microbial Taxonomy, Phylogeny, and Molecular Diagnostics.
  • Plant Pathology and Protection.
  • Environmental Biotechnology.
  • Industrial Biotechnology.

We are interested in studying novel bacteria, their interactions, their physiological diversity and the genetic basis of its regulation in natural microbial communities.

Current research projects involve the microbial ecology of environments such as soil, water, water distribution system biofilms, plant surfaces and rhizospheres, constructed wetlands, mineral ore leaching communities, and the development of fluidised biofilm reactors for water treatment, metal recovery, and biofilters for the bioremediation of methane and other pollutants in air.

We are developing molecular fingerprinting methods for monitoring microbial species in mixed microbial communities for the assessment of water quality, river health, soil health, bioremediation and biomining.

We are studying the enzymology and molecular biology of bacterial manganese oxidation and have developed the BMnR biotechnology process using immobilised manganese-oxidising bacteria for the treatment of manganese, heavy metals and radionuclides in water and wastewater.

Selected Publications

  1. Franke, I. H., Fegan, M., Hayward, C., Leonard, G., Stackebrandt, E. and Sly, L. I. (1999). Description of Gluconoacetobacter sacchari sp. nov., a new species of acetic acid bacteria isolated from the pink sugarcane mealybug. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. (accepted for publication).
  2. Sly, L. I. and Stackebrandt, E. (1999). Description of Skermanella parooensis gen. nov., sp. nov. to accommodate Conglomeromonas largomobilis subsp. parooensis following the transfer of Conglomeromonas largomobilis subsp. largomobilis to the genus Azospirillum. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 49:541-544.
  3. Sly, L. I., Taghavi, M. and Fegan, M. (1999). The phylogenetic position of Chitinophaga pinensis in the Flexibacter-Bacteroides-Cytophaga phylum. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 49:479-481.
  4. Sly, L. I., Cox, T. L., and Beckenham, T. (1999). The phylogenetic relationships of the species of Caulobacter, Asticcacaulis, and Brevundimonas, and their taxonomic implications. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 49:483-488.
  5. Wen, A., Sly, L. I., Fegan, M., Hayward, C. and Chakraborty, S. (1999). Phylogenetic relationships among members of the Comamondaceae, and description of Delftia acidovorans (den Dooren de Jong 1926, and Tamaokaa et al. 1987) gen. nov., comb. nov. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 49:567-576.
  6. Larsen, E. I., Sly, L. I. and McEwan, A. G. (1999). Manganese(II) adsorption and oxidation by whole cells and a membrane fraction of Pedomicrobium sp. ACM 3067. Arch. Microbiol. 171:257-264.
  7. Sly, L. I., Cox, T. L., and Jones, G. (1998). Phylogenetic approaches to the study of bacterial diversity in river ecosystems. In Microbial Indicators of River Health 1997 Workshop (Edited by D. Veal). LWRRDC Occasional paper No. 1/98, pp. 15-21. Land and Water Resources Research and Development Corporation, Canberra.
  8. Fegan, M., Taghavi, M., Sly, L.I. and Hayward, A.C. (1998). Phylogeny, diversity, and molecular diagnostics of Ralstonia solanacearum. In Bacterial Wilt Disease: Molecular and Ecological Aspects, edited by Ph. Prior, C. Allen and J. Elphinstone, pp. 19-33. Springer:Berlin.
  9. Franke, I.H, Fegan, M., Hayward, A.C., and Sly, L.I. (1998). Nucleotide sequence of the nifH gene coding for nitrogen reductase in the acetic acid bacterium Acetobacter diazotrophicus. Lett. Appl. Microbiol. 26:12-16.
  10. Tran, C. T., Sly, L.I., and Mitchell, D.A. (1998). Selection of a strain of Aspergillus for the production of citric acid from pineapple waste in solid state fermentation. World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology 14:399-404.
  11. Sly, L.I., Taghavi, M., and Fegan, M. (1998). Phylogenetic heterogeneity within the genus Herpetosiphon: transfer of the marine species H. cohaerens, H. nigricans, and H. persicus to the genus Lewinella gen. nov. in the Flexibacter - Bacteroides -Cytophaga phylum. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 48:731-737.
  12. Sly, L. I., Bryant, L., Larsen, E., and Dixon, D. R. (1997). The microbiological oxidation and removal of manganese from drinking water by a continuous recycle fluidized bioreactor. Research Report No. 124. Urban Water Research Association of Australia, Melbourne.
  13. Tyrrell, W. R., Mulligan, D. R., Sly, L. I. and Bell, L. C. (1997). Trialing wetlands to treat coal mining wastewaters in a low rainfall, high evaporation environment. Wat. Sci. Tech. 35:293-299.
  14. Sly, L. I., Cahill, M. M., Osawa, R., and Fujisawa, T. (1997). The tannin-degrading species Streptococcus gallolyticus and Streptococcus caprinus are subjective synonyms. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 47:893-894.
  15. Sly, L.I., and Cahill, M. M. (1997). Transfer of Blastobacter natatorius (Sly 1985) to the genus Blastomonas gen. nov. as Blastomonas natatoria comb. nov. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 47:566-568.
  16. Ben Dekhil, S. M., Peel, M. M., Lennox, V. A., Stackebrandt, E. and Sly, L. I. (1997). Isolation of Lautropia mirabilis from sputa of a cystic fibrosis patient. J. Clin. Microbiol. 35:1024-1026.
  17. Sly, L.I., Cahill, M. M., Majeed, K., and Jones, G. (1997). Reassessment of the phylogenetic position of Caulobacter subvibrioides. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 47:211-213.
  18. Cox, T. L., and Sly, L.I. (1997). Phylogenetic relationships and uncertain taxonomy of Pedomicrobium species. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 47:377-380.
  19. De Wulf-Durand, P., Bryant, L. J., and Sly, L. I. (1997). PCR-mediated detection of acidophilic, bioleaching-associated bacteria. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 63:2944-2948.
  20. Ben Dekhil, S., Cahill, M., Stackebrandt, E. and Sly, L.I. (1997). Transfer of Conglomeromonas largomobilis subsp. largomobilis to the genus Azospirillum as Azospirillum largomobile comb. nov., and elevation of Conglomeromonas largomobilis subsp. parooensis to the new type species of Conglomeromonas, Conglomeromonas parooensis sp. nov. System. Appl. Microbiol. 20:72-77.
  21. Taghavi, M., Hayward, C., Sly, L.I. and Fegan, M. (1996). Analysis of the phylogenetic relationships of strains of Burkholderia solanacearum, Pseudomonas syzygii and the blood disease bacterium of banana based on 16S rRNA gene sequences. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 46:10-15.
  22. Macy, J.M., Nunan, K., Hagen, K.D., Dixon, D.R., Harbour, P.J., Cahill, M., and Sly, L.I. (1996). Chrysiogenes arsenatis gen. nov., sp. nov., a new arsenate-respiring bacterium isolated from gold-mine wastewater. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 46:1153-1157.
  23. Bowman, J.P., Sly, L.I. and Stackebrandt, E. (1995). The phylogenetic position of the family Methylococcaceae. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 45:182-185.
  24. Osawa, R., Fujisawa, T. and Sly, L.I. (1995). Streptococcus gallolyticus sp. nov.; gallate degrading organisms formerly assigned to Streptococcus bovis. System. Appl. Microbiol. 18:74-78.
  25. Bowman, J.P., Sly, L.I., Hayward, A.C., Spiegel, Y. and Stackebrandt, E. (1993). Telluria mixta (Pseudomonas mixta Bowman, Sly, and Hayward 1988) gen. nov., comb. nov., and Telluria chitinolytica sp. nov., soil-dwelling organisms which actively degrade polysaccharides. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 43:120-124.
  26. Macy, J.M., Rech, S., Auling, G., Dorsch, M., Stackebrandt, E. and Sly, L.I. (1993). Thauera selenatis gen. nov., sp. nov., a member of the b -subclass of Proteobacteria with a novel type of anaerobic respiration. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 43:135-142.
  27. Fuerst, J.A., Hawkins, J.A., Holmes, A., Sly, L.I., Moore, C.J. and Stackebrandt, E. (1993). Porphyrobacter neustonensis gen. nov., sp. nov., an aerobic bacteriochlorophyll-synthesizing budding bacterium from fresh water. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 43:125-134.
  28. Li, X., Dorsch, M., Del Dot, T., Sly, L.I., Stackebrandt, E. and Hayward, A.C. (1993). Phylogenetic studies of the rRNA group II pseudomonads based on 16S rRNA gene sequences. J. Appl. Bacteriol. 74:324-329.
  29. Byers, H.K. and Sly, L.I. (1993). Toxic effects of dichloromethane on the growth of methanotrophic bacteria. FEMS Microbiol. Ecology. 12:35-38.
  30. Sly, L.I., Bryant, L.J., Cox, J.M. and Anderson, J.M. (1993). Development of a biofilter for the removal of methane from coal mine ventilation atmospheres. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 39:400-404.
  31. Sly, L.I., Bronsdon, M.A., Bowman, J.P., Holmes, A. and Stackebrandt, E. (1993). The phylogenetic position of Helicobacter nemestrinae. Int. J.Syst. Bacteriol. 43:386-387.
  32. Sly, L.I., Arunpairojana, V. and Dixon, D.R. (1993). Biological removal of manganese from water by immobilized manganese-oxidising bacteria. Water Journal 20 (3):38-40.
  33. Sly, L.I., Hodgkinson, M.C. and Arunpairojana, V. (1990). The deposition of manganese in a drinking-water distribution system. Appl. Env. Microbiol. 56:628-639.
  34. Sly, L.I., Arunpairojana, V. and Dixon, D.R. (1990). The binding of colloidal MnO2 by extracellular polysaccharides of Pedomicrobium manganicum. Appl. Env. Microbiol. 56:2791-2794.
  35. Sly, L.I., Hodgkinson, M.C. and Arunpairojana, V. (1989). The importance of high aesthetic quality potable water in tourist and recreational areas. Water Sci. Tech. 21:183-187.
  36. Sly, L.I., Hodgkinson, M.C. and Arunpairojana, V. (1988). Effect of water velocity on the early development of manganese depositing biofilm in a drinking-water distribution system. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 53:175-186.
  37. Sly, L.I., Arunpairojana, V. and Hodgkinson, M.C. (1988). Pedomicrobium manganicum from drinking-water distribution systems with manganese-related "dirty water" problems. Systematic and Applied Microbiology 11:75-84.
  38. Bowman, J.P., Sly, L.I. and Hayward, A.C. (1988). Pseudomonas mixta sp. nov., a bacterium from soil with degradative activity on a variety of complex polysaccharides. Systematic and Applied Microbiology 11:53-59.