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Christopher Penton

Christopher Penton

Associate Professor, Faculty of Science and Mathematics, College of Integrative Sciences and Arts

crpenton@asu.edu

480-727-5738

College of Integrative Sciences and Arts
Arizona State University, Polytechnic campus
6073 S. Backus Mall
Mesa, AZ 85212

Titles

  • Senior Sustainability Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability
  • Associate Professor, Faculty of Science and Mathematics, College of Integrative Sciences and Arts

Biography

 

C. Ryan Penton is a microbial ecologist whose research covers a broad range of ecological issues. In particular, Penton focuses on the mechanisms behind suppression of crop disease and how the soil microbiome can be manipulated in order to improve crop production in a sustainable fashion. Along those lines, his research also addresses how the soil microbiome responds to different crop management strategies, thus deciphering strategies that may improve overall soil health. In addition, he is also interested in the nitrogen cycle, particularly denitrification and nitrogen fixation, and how changes in these N-functional communities caused by continuous crop management impact the fate of fertilizer N and the subsequent plant response. His research also addresses changes in soil microbial communities and their functional guilds under climate warming in rangeland and permafrost systems, with a particular interest in how the impacts on nitrogen cycling communities alter N availability as a "latch" for carbon decomposition.

Within the context of agriculture, Penton also researches the impact of biochar addition to varying soils on the soil microbiome under bioenergy crops in order to establish whether biochar serves as a stable carbon input that increases soil fertility. To address these issues Penton utilizes next-generation high-throughput platforms for the targeted sequencing of functional genes as well as shotgun metagenomics, direct culturing, quantitative PCR, and stable isotope probing. His overall goal is to decipher the intimate connections that exist between soil fungi and bacteria and biogeochemical cycling as well as plant disease processes.

His work encompasses collaborative relationships with international partners from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) of Australia and Nanjing Agricultural University (China).

Education

  • PhD, Microbial Ecology, Michigan State University, 2008
  • MSc, Wetland Biogeochemistry, University of Florida, 2004
  • BSc, Microbiology, University of Florida, 1998

Expertise

Journal Articles

2019

Feng, J., C. R. Penton, Z. He, J. D. van Nostrand, M. M. Yuan, L. Wu, C. Wang, Y. Qin, Z. J. Shi, X. Guo, E. A. Schuur, Y. Luo, R. Bracho, K. T. Konstantinidis, J. R. Cole, J. M. Tiedje, Y. Yang and J. Zhou. 2019. Long-term winter warming in Alaska enlarges the diazotrophic community in deep soils. mBio 10:e02521-18. DOI: 10.1128/mBio.02521-18. (link )

Gupta, V. V., B. Zhang, C. R. Penton, J. Yu and J. M. Tiedje. 2019. Diazotroph diversity and nitrogen fixation in summer active perennial grasses in a Mediterranean region agricultural soil. Frontiers in Molecular 6:115. DOI: 10.3389/fmolb.2019.00115. (link )

Hale, L., W. Feng, H. Yin, X. Guo, X. Zhou, R. Bracho, E. Pegoraro, C. R. Penton, L. Wu, J. R. Cole, K. T. Konstantinidis, Y. Luo, J. M. Tiedje, E. A. Schuur and J. Zhou. 2019. Tundra microbial community taxa and traits predict decomposition parameters of stable, old soil organic carbon. The ISME Journal DOI: 1038/s41396-019-0485-x.

Nannipieri, P., C. R. Penton, W. Purahong, M. Schloter and J. D. Elsas. 2019. Recommendations for soil microbiome analyses. Biology and Fertility of Soils 55(8):765-766. DOI: 10.1007/s00374-019-01409-z. (link )

Ou, Y., C. R. Penton, S. Geisen, Z. Shen, Y. Sun, N. Lv, B. Wang, Y. Ruan, W. Xiong, R. Li and Q. Shen. 2019. Deciphering underlying drivers of disease suppressiveness against pathogenic Fusarium oxysporum. Frontiers in Microbiology 10:2535. DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.02535. (link )

Qiao, C., C. R. Penton, C. Liu, Z. Shen, Y. Ou, Z. Liu, X. Xu, R. Li and Q. Shen. 2019. Key extracellular enzymes triggered high-efficiency composting associated with bacterial community succession. Bioresource Technology 288(Sep):121576. DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2019.121576. (link )

Qiao, C., C. R. Penton, W. Xiong, C. Liu, R. Wang, Z. Liu, X. Xu, R. Li and Q. Shen. 2019. Reshaping the rhizosphere microbiome by bio-organic amendment to enhance crop yield in a maize-cabbage rotation system. Applied Soil Ecology 142(Oct):136-146. DOI: 10.1016/j.apsoil.2019.04.014. (link )

Shen, Z., C. Xue, C. R. Penton, L. S. Thomashow, N. Zhang, B. Wang, Y. Ruan, R. Li and Q. Shen. 2019. Suppression of banana Panama disease induced by soil microbiome reconstruction through an integrated agricultural strategy. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 128(Jan):164-174. DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2018.10.016. (link )

Xue, C., Y. Hao, X. Pu, C. R. Penton, Q. Wang, M. Zhao, B. Zhang, W. Ran, Q. Huang, Q. Shen and J. M. Tiedje. 2019. Effect of LSU and ITS genetic markers and reference databases on analyses of fungal communities. Biology and Fertility of Soils 55(1):79-88. DOI: 10.1007/s00374-018-1331-4. (link )

Yu, J., L. M. Deem, S. E. Crow, J. L. Deenik and C. R. Penton. 2019. Comparative metagenomics reveals enhanced nutrient cycling potential after 2 years of biochar amendment in a tropical oxisol. Applied Environmental Microbiology 85:e02957-18. DOI: 10.1128/AEM.02957-18. (link )

2018

Liang, J., J. Xia, Z. Shi, L. Jiang, S. Ma, X. Lu, M. Mauritz, S. Natali, E. Pegoraro, C. R. Penton, C. Plaza, V. G. Salmon, G. Celis, J. R. Cole, K. T. Konstantinidis, J. M. Tiedje, J. Zhou, E. A. Schuur and Y. Luo. 2018. Biotic responses buffer warming‐induced soil organic carbon loss in Arctic tundra. Global Change Biology 24(10):4946-4959. DOI: 10.1111/gcb.14325. (link )

Liang, J., Z. Zhou, C. Huo, Z. Shi, J. R. Cole, L. Huang, K. T. Konstantinidis, X. Li, B. Liu, Z. Luo, C. R. Penton, E. A. Schuur, J. M. Tiedje, Y. Wang, L. Wu, J. Xia, J. Zhou and Y. Luo. 2018. More replenishment than priming loss of soil organic carbon with additional carbon input. Nature Communications 9:Art. 3175. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-05667-7. (link )

Shen, Z., C. R. Penton, N. Lv, C. Xue, X. Yuan, Y. Ruan, R. Li and Q. Shen. 2018. Banana Fusarium wilt disease incidence is influenced by shifts of soil microbial communities under different monoculture spans. Microbial Ecology 75(3):739-759. DOI: 10.1007/s00248-017-1052-5. (link )

Xue, C., C. R. Penton, C. Zhu, H. Chen, Y. Duan, C. Peng, S. Guo, N. Ling and Q. Shen. 2018. Alterations in soil fungal community composition and network assemblage structure by different long-term fertilization regimes are correlated to the soil ionome. Biology and Fertility of Soils 54(1):95-106. DOI: 10.1007/s00374-017-1241-x. (link )

Yuan, M. M., J. Zhang, K. Xue, L. Wu, Y. Deng, J. Deng, L. Hale, X. Zhou, Z. He, Y. Yang, J. D. van Nostrand, E. A. Schuur, K. T. Konstantinidis, C. R. Penton, J. R. Cole, J. M. Tiedje, Y. Luo and J. Zhou. 2018. Microbial functional diversity covaries with permafrost thaw-induced environmental heterogeneity in tundra soil. Global Change Biology 24(1):297-307. DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13820. (link )

Yu, J., L. M. Deem, S. E. Crow, J. L. Deenik and C. R. Penton. 2018. Biochar application influences microbial assemblage complexity and composition due to soil and bioenergy crop type interactions. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 117(Feb):97-107. DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2017.11.017. (link )

2017

Fu, L., C. R. Penton, Y. Ruan, Z. Shen, C. Xue, R. Li and Q. Shen. 2017. Inducing the rhizosphere microbiome by biofertilizer application to suppress banana Fusarium wilt disease. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 104(Jan):39-48. DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2016.10.008. (link )

Zhang, B., C. R. Penton, C. Xue, J. F. Quensen, S. S. Roley, J. Guo, A. Garoutte, T. Zheng and J. M. Tiedje. 2017. Soil depth and crop determinants of bacterial communities under ten biofuel cropping systems. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 112(Sep):140-152. DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2017.04.019. (link )

2016

Ontiveros Valencia, A. V., C. R. Penton, R. Krajmalnik-Brown and B. E. Rittmann. 2016. Hydrogen-fed biofilm reactors reducing selenite and sulfate: community structure and location of elemental selenium within the biofilm. Biotechnology and Bioengineering 113(8):2736-1744. DOI: 10.1002/bit.25945. (link )

Penton, C. R., V. V. Gupta, J. Yu and J. M. Tiedje. 2016. Size matters: Assessing optimum soil sample size for fungal and bacterial community structure analyses using high throughput sequencing of rRNA gene amplicons. Frontiers in Microbiology 7:824. DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.00824. (link )

Penton, C. R., C. Yang, L. Wu, Q. Wang, J. Zhang, F. Liu, Y. Qin, Y. Deng, C. L. Hemme, T. Zheng, E. A. Schuur, J. Tiedje and J. Zhou. 2016. NifH-harboring bacterial community composition across an Alaskan permafrost thaw gradient. Frontiers in Microbiology 7:1894. DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.01894. (link )

Xue, C., C. R. Penton, B. Zhang, M. Zhao, D. E. Rothstein, D. J. Mladenoff, J. A. Forrester, Q. Shen and J. M. Tiedje. 2016. Soil fungal and bacterial responses to conversion of open land to short rotation woody biomass crops. Global Change Biology Bioenergy 8(4):723-736. DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12303. (link )

2015

Penton, C. R., D. St. Louis, A. Pham, J. R. Cole, L. Wu, E. A. Schuur, J. Zhou and J. M. Tiedje. 2015. Denitrifying and diazotrophic community responses to artificial warming in permafrost and tallgrass prairie soils. Frontiers in Microbiology: Terrestrial Microbiology 6:746. DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2015.00746. (link )

Xue, C., C. R. Penton, Z. Shen, Q. Huang, I. Rong, R. Yunze and Q. Shen. 2015. Manipulating the banana rhizosphere microbiome for the rehabilitation of severe Panama disease incidence. Scientific Reports 5:11124. DOI: 10.1038/srep11124. (link )

Zhang, B., C. R. Penton, C. Xue, Q. Wang, T. Zheng and J. M. Tiedje. 2015. Evaluation of the Ion Torrent PGM for gene-targeted studies using amplicons of the nitrogenase gene, nifH. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 81(13):4536-4545. DOI: 10.1128/AEM.00111-15. (link )

2014

Penton, C. R., J. L. Deenik, B. N. Popp, G. L. Bruland, P. Engstrom, J. Mueller, A. Worden and J. M. Tiedje. 2014. Assessing nitrogen transformations in a flooded agroecosystem using the isotope pairing technique and nitrogen functional gene abundances. Soil Science: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Soil Research 179(1):2-10. DOI: 10.1097/SS.0000000000000038. (link )

Penton, C. R., V. S. Gupta, J. M. Tiedje, S. M. Neate, K. Ophel-Keller, M. Gillings, P. Harvey, A. Pham and D. K. Roget. 2014. Fungal community structure in disease suppressive soils assessed by 28S LSU gene sequencing. PLOS One 9(4):e93893. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0093893. (link )

2013

Penton, C. R., J. L. Deenik, B. N. Popp, G. L. Bruland, P. Engstrom, D. St. Louis and J. Tiedje. 2013. Importance of sub-surface rhizosphere-mediated coupled nitrification-denitrification in a flooded agroecosystem in Hawaii. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 67:362-373. DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2012.10.018. (link )

Penton, C. R., T. A. Johnson, J. F. Quensen, S. Iwai, J. R. Cole and J. M. Tiedje. 2013. Functional genes to assess nitrogen cycling and aromatic hydrocarbon degradation: Primers and processing matter. Frontiers in Microbiology 4:Art 279. DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2013.00279. (link )

Penton, C. R., D. St. Louis, J. R. Cole, Y. Luo, L. Wu, E. A. Schuur, J. Zhou and J. M. Tiedje. 2013. Fungal diversity in permanfrost and tallgrass prairie soils under experimental warming conditions. Environmental Microbiology 79(22):7063-7072. DOI: 10.1128/AEM.01702-13. (link )

Sul, W. J., S. Asuming-Brempong, Q. Wang, D. M. Tourlousse, C. R. Penton, Y. Deng, J. L. Rodrigues, S. G. Adiku, J. W. Jones, J. Zhou, J. R. Cole and J. M. Tiedje. 2013. Tropical agricultural land management influences on soil microbial communities through its effect on soil organic carbon. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 65:33-38. DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2013.05.007. (link )

Vital, M., C. R. Penton, Q. Wang, V. B. Young, D. A. Antonopoulos, M. L. Sogin, H. G. Morrison, L. Raffals, E. B. Chang, G. B. Huffnagle, T. M. Schmidt, J. R. Cole and J. M. Tiedje. 2013. A gene-targeted approach to investigate the intestinal butyrate-producing bacterial community. Microbiome 1(1):8. DOI: 10.1186/2049-2618-1-8. (link )

2009

Engstrom, P., C. R. Penton and A. H. Devol. 2009. Anaerobic ammonium oxidation in deep‐sea sediments off the Washington margin. Limnology and Oceanography 54(5):1643-1652. DOI: 10.4319/lo.2009.54.5.1643. (link )

2008

Penton, C. R. and S. Newman. 2008. Enzyme based resource allocated decomposition and landscape heterogeneity in the Florida Everglades. Journal of Environmental Quality 37(3):972-976. DOI: 10.2134/jeq2007.0248. (link )

2007

Penton, C. R. and S. Newman. 2007. Enzyme activity responses to nutrient loading in subtropical wetlands. Biogeochemistry 84(1):83-88. DOI: 10.1007/s10533-007-9106-2. (link )

2006

Penton, C. R., A. H. Devol and J. M. Tiedje. 2006. Molecular evidence for the broad distribution of anammox in freshwater and marine sediments. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 72(10):6829-6832. DOI: 10.1128/AEM.01254-06. (link )

Presentations

2015

Gupta, V. S., C. R. Penton and J. M. Tiedje. 2015. Edaphic and plant associated factors regulate diazotroph diversity and function in Australian soils. Presentation at the BAGECO 13: 13th Symposium on Bacterial Genetics and Ecology, 14-18 June 2015, Milan, Italy. (link )

Penton, C. R. 2015. Natural disease suppression of Rhizoctonia solari AG8 in Australian cropping systems: Drivers of spatial heterogeneity. Presentation at the Xinglong Tropical Botanical Garden Spice and Beverage Crop Research Institute of China, Tropical Agriculture Research, (Invited), Datang, Hainan Province, China.

Penton, C. R. 2015. Natural disease suppression of Rhizoctonia solari AG8 in Australian cropping systems: Drivers of spatial heterogeneity. Presentation at the Nanjing Agricultural University, (invited), Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China.

Penton, C. R., J. R. Cole, L. Wu, E. A. Schuur, J. Zhou and J. M. Tiedje. 2015. Denitrifying and diazotrophic community responses to artificial warming in permafrost and tallgrass prairie soils. Presentation at the Genomic Science Contractors– Grantees Meeting XIII, 22-25 February 2015, Washington, DC. (link )

Yu, J., S. Crow, J. L. Deenik, L. Deem and C. R. Penton. 2015. The effect of biochar amendment on microbial community composition. Presentation at the ASM 2015: American Society for Microbiology 115th General Meeting, May 30-June 2, 2015, New Orleans, Louisiana. (link )

2014

Penton, C. R., J. Yu, J. M. Tiedje and V. S. Gupta. 2014. Soil sample size affects fungal and bacterial community structure and richness: New insights using high throughput sequencing. Presentation at the Grand Challenges: Great Solutions - ASA, CSSA, & SSA International Meeting, 2-5 November 2014, Long Beach, CA. (link )