My main research focus is the microbial ecology of marine sediments.
For more than a decade we have been examining the role of biological disturbances, especially related to the feeding of invertebrate deposit feeders, in structuring communities of benthic bacteria and microalgae.
More recently, we have also begun to look at the production of inhibitory compounds by sedimentary bacteria and the role of antagonistic interactions in the ecology of benthic microbes. Some of these inhibitory factors may be involved in quorum sensing (QS) within or between bacterial populations. A third avenue of current research centers on the identification of novel QS compounds from gram-positive sedimentary bacteria. A fourth line of research deals with the isolation and characterization of surfactant-resistant and surfactant-producing bacteria from marine habitats (especially from surfactant-rich guts of marine invertebrates).
These microbes may prove to be useful in bioremediation efforts.
Selected Publications:1. Plante, C. Landscape and smaller-scale effects of lugworm (Arenicola marina) deposit feeding on benthic bacterial assemblages. J. Mar. Res. (in review)
2. Plante, C., *Coe, K., Plante, R. 2008. Isolation of surfactant-resistant bacteria from natural, surfactant-rich marine habitats. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. (in press)
3. Plante, C.J. 2007 Importance of the sedimentary matrix for anaerobic oil degradation by natural bacterial communities of marine sediments. Bioremediation J. 11:155-163
4. *Busby, T., Plante, C. 2007 Deposit feeding during tidal emersion by the suspension-feeding polychaete, Mesochaetopterus taylori Potts. SE Naturalist 6:351-358
5. *Stocum, E., Plante, C. 2006. The effect of artificial defaunation on the microbial community of intertidal sediments. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol 337: 147-158