Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies

Image: Ripples on water

SF State's bayside marine and estuarine research facility.

Matt Ashby - Adjunct Professor

Ecology, biogeochemistry and biogeography of microbial communities
Romberg Tiburon Center and Department of Biology

Phone: (415) 435-5116

Dr. Ashby

Research Interests

We study the role of microbial communities in ecosystem function. Bacterial communities in the environment are usually complex in terms of both species richness and diversity. Since the overwhelming majority of environmental bacteria cannot be grown in culture, DNA-based detection methods are necessary to survey these communities. We utilize a variety of molecular detection methods to characterize microbial communities from different environments. By comparing the distribution of bacterial species in different environments, we can learn a great deal about microbial community structure and function. For example, groups of organisms that participate in a particular ecological process tend to be found together. Clues as to the identity and function of these organisms can be revealed through molecular profiling. 

Selected Papers

Ashby M. N ., and Edwards P. A. (1989) "Identification and Regulation of a Rat Liver cDNA Encoding Farnesyl Pyrophosphate Synthetase." J. Biol. Chem. 264, 635-640.


Ashby M. N., and Edwards P. A. (1990) "Elucidation of the Deficiency of Two Yeast Coenzyme Q Mutants: Characterization of the Structural Gene Encoding Hexaprenyl Pyrophosphate Synthetase." J. Biol. Chem. 265, 13157-13164.


Ashby M. N., Kutsunai S. Y., Ackerman S., Tzagoloff A., and Edwards P. A. (1992) "COQ2 is a Candidate for the Structural Gene Encoding para-Hydroxybenzoate:Polyprenyltransferase." J. Biol. Chem. 267 (6), 4128-4136.


Ashby M. N., King D. S., and Rine J. (1992) "Endoproteolytic Processing of a Farnesylated Peptide In Vitro." Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 89, 4613-4617.


Ashby M. N., Errada P. R., Boyartchuk V., and Rine J. (1993) "Isolation and DNA Sequence of the STE14 Gene Encoding Farnesyl Cysteine:Carboxyl Methyltransferase." Yeast 9, 907-913.


Ashby M. N. and Rine J. "Ras and a -Factor Converting Enzyme." (1995) Methods Enzymol. 250, 235-251.

Adames N., Blundell K., Ashby M.N ., and Boone C. (1995) "Role of yeast insulin-degrading enzyme homologs in propheromone processing and bud site selection." Science 270, 464-467.


Boyartchuk V.L., Ashby M.N., and Rine J. (1997) "Modulation of Ras and a -factor function by carboxyl-terminal proteolysis." Science 275, 1796-1800.


Wood L.C., Ashby M.N., Grunfeld C., Feingold K.R. (1999) "Cloning of murine translation initiation factor 6 and functional analysis of the homologous sequence YPR016c in Saccharomyces cerevisiae." J. Biol. Chem. 274 (17):11653-11659.




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