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Department of Genetics

Prof Don A Cowan

don.cowan [at]
012 420 5873 or 012 420 6929 
Office:   NW II building, rm 3-12


PhD (U. Waikato, NZ) 

Teaching subjects:

Have taught: Proteins and Enzymes; Industrial Microbiology: Microbial Ecology.


Research focus:

Areas of research include:
Microbial ecology, functional metagenomics, bacterial genomics,microbial stress responses; applied microbiology and enzymology, biofuels and biocatalysis.

Specific research projects include:
• Metagenomics of Antarctic cold desert ecosystems
• Genomics and genome sequencing of Geobacillus
• Microbial ecology of Namib Desert soil ecosystems
• Novel microbial stress response and adaptation genes
• Metaviromics of desert ecosystems
• Microbial ecology of toxic acid mine drainage
• Gene discovery for new biotransformation enzymes
• The structure-function of novel lignocellulosic degrading enzymes 

Technical Assistants and Research Fellows:

Name Position Location
Mr Lonnie Van Zyl Senior Technical Assistant UWC
Dr Jean-Baptiste Ramond Post Doc UWC
Dr Rob Huddy Post Doc UWC
Dr Samantha Easton Post Doc UWC
Dr Mariette Smart Post Doc UWC
Dr Omodele Ibrahim Post Doc UWC
Dr Edu Mullapudi Post Doc UWC
Dr Colin Anthony Post Doc UWC
Dr Monique Morse Post Doc UWC
Dr Mornay du Plessis Post Doc UWC
Dr Angel Valverde Research Fellow UP
Dr Yves Semegni Post Doc UP
Dr Pieter De Maayer Post Doc UP

Postgrad students:

Name Degree Location
Tshifhiwa Mamphogoro MSc UWC
Afshin Ghaziasgar MSc UWC
Freedom Tshabuse MSc UWC
Rhulani Ngobeni MSc UWC
Jarishma Gokul MSc UWC
William Bopda MSc UWC
Munaka Matshaya MSc UWC
Rudzani Mutengwe MSc UWC
Gerda du Plessis MSc UWC
Timna January MSc UWC
Dean Booysen MSc UWC
Wellington Charewa MSc UWC
Halimat Ibrahim MSc UWC
Walter Nevondo MSc UWC
Melissa du Plessis MSc UWC
Alicia Armstrong MSc UWC
Kambula Lukusa PhD UWC
Colin Ohlhoff PhD UWC
Dominique Anderson PhD UWC
Walter Mavengere PhD UWC
Natasha Mavengere PhD UWC
Thulani Makhalanyane PhD UWC
Pamela Welz PhD UWC
Dale Wilcox PhD UWC

Community Involvement:

  • President, Royal Society of South Africa
  • Editorial Board: Trends in Biotechnology [IF = 7.5]. 1995 - date
  • Editorial Board: Extremophiles [IF = 2.0]. 1996 – date.
  • Reviews Editor; 2002 – 2008.
  • Editorial Board: Biotechnology Letters [IF = 0.8]. 1999 – date.
  • Editorial Board: Astrobiology [IF = 2.4]. 2001 – date
  • Editorial Board: Journal of Applied Microbiology [IF = 1.7]/Letters in Applied Microbiology [IF = 1.2]. 2002 - date.
  • Editorial Board, Biotechnology Journal [IF=2.4]. 2005 - date
  • Editorial Board, Microbial Cell Factories (on-line journal published by BioMedCentral [IF = 3.36]. 2005 – date
  • Editorial Board, Cell Biochemistry and Function [IF 1.65]. 2008 - date

Society Memberships:

The Royal Society of South Africa  ~(President) 
Society for General Microbiology
International society for Extremophiles  ~(Council Member)
International Society for Microbial Ecology 
SA Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology  ~(Past President) 

List: 2000 – 2012

  • Cowan, DA, Burton, SB (2002) Archaea in Biotechnology. Encyclopaedia of Environmental Microbiology. Wiley, Publ. pp. 259-276
  • Daniel, RM, J.F. Holden, R. van Eckert, J. Truter and D.A. Cowan (2004) The stability of biomolecules and the implications for life at high temperatures. In Subsurface Biosphere at Mid-Ocean Ridges (W.S.D. Wilcock, C. Cary, E. DeLong, D.S. Kelley, and J.A. Baross, Eds. American Geophysical Union Monograph, Washington, D.C., pp. 264-289.
  • Cowan, DA, Ah Tow, L, Smith, JJ, Cary, C, Moodley, K. (2005) Microbial molecular ecology of Antarctic mineral soil biotopes. In Antarctica; Global Laboratory for Scientific and International Collaboration, A. Tan, Z Yasin, M Mansor, eds., Academy of Sciences Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, pp. 113-118.
  • Sjöling, S. Stafford, W, Cowan, DA (2006) Soil metagenomics: Exploring and exploiting the soil microbial gene pool. Ch. 16 in Modern Soil Microbiology, 2nd Edn. van Elsas, JD, Jansson, J, Trevors, JT, Eds., CRC Press, Taylor & Francis, pp. 241 – 266.
  • Russell, NR and Cowan, DA. (2006) Methods for the handling of psychrophiles microorganisms. Ch. in Methods in Microbiology. Vol. 35, Oren, A, & Rainey, F, eds., Elsevier Publ., pp371-393 [ISBN 978-0-12-521537-4].
  • Cowan, DA, Casanueva, A, Stafford, W. (2007) Ecology and biodiversity of cold-adapted organisms. Ch. 9 in Physiology and Biochemistry of Extremophiles. Gerday, C., Glansdorff, N., eds. ASM Press, Washington DC, pp. 119-133.
  • Cowan, DA and Stafford, W. (2007) Metagenomic methods for determining active microorganisms and genes in bioremediation and biotransformation processes. Ch. 58 in ASM Manual of Environmental Microbiology, 3rd Edition. Editors: CJ Hurst, RL. Crawford, JL. Garland, DA Lipson, AL Mills, LD Stetzenbach., ASM Press, New York. 1310 pp. ISBN: 978-1-55581-379-6
  • Daniel, R.M., Danson, M.J., Hough, D.W., Lee, C.K., Peterson, M.E. and Cowan, D.A. (2008) Enzyme stability and activity at high temperatures. Ch. 17 in Anatomy & Physiology of Extremophilic Proteins, Nova Science, Eds. Thomas, T, Sidiqui, S. pp. 1-34. ISBN 978-1-60456-019-0
  • Cowan, DA, Sjoling, S, Stafford, WHL, Rohr, LM, Heath, C. (2008) Metagenomics in Agribiotechnology. In Proceedings of the Asia Pacific Conference on Plant Tissue Culture and Agrobiotechnology (APaCPA 2007). Aimst University, Bedong, Malaysia.
  • Sjoling, S, Cowan, DA. (2008) Metagenomics – microbial community genomes revealed. Ch. 20 in Psychrophiles: from Biodiversity to Biotechnology. Margesin, R.; Schinner, F.; Marx, J.-C.; Gerday, C. (Eds.) 462 pp. ISBN: 978-3-540-74334-7
  • Berjak, P, Cowan, DA, Cowling, R, Pammenter N, Scholes, R. (2009) Biological Sciences. Ch. 5 in The State of Science in South Africa. Diab, R, Gevers, W., Eds, ASSAf Publ., pp. 133-163.
  • Kirby, BM, Vengadajellum, CJ, Burton, SG, Cowan, DA. (2010) Anthropogenically-created habitats - coal, coal mines and spoil heaps. In: Handbook of Hydrocarbon and Lipid Microbiology, Timmis, Kenneth N. (Ed.), Springer Heidelberg, Vol 3, pp. 2277-2292.
  • Cowan, DA, Tuffin, IM, Robb, F. (2010) ‘‘Sequence First, Ask Questions Later’’: The Impact of Next Generation Omics on the Discovery of Novel Microbial and Lipid Hydrocarbon Metabolism. In: Handbook of Hydrocarbon and Lipid Microbiology, Timmis, Kenneth N. (Ed.), Springer Heidelberg, Vol 4, pp. 3367-3374.
  • Cowan, DA, Khan, N, Heath, C, Mutondo, M. (2010) Microbiology of Antarctic terrestrial soils and rocks. Ch. 1 in Polar Microbiology: The Ecology, Biodiversity and Bioremediation Potential of Microorganisms in Extremely Cold Environments. Atlas, R, Aislabie, J, Bej, A, Eds. CRC Press, pp. 1-30
  • Cowan, DA, Kirby, BM, Meiring, TL, Ferrer, M, Guazzaroni, M-E, Golyshina,, OV, Golyshin, PN (2010) Enzymes from Extreme Environments Ch. 4. In Manual of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology, 3rd Edition, Baltz, RH, Davies, JE, Demain, AL, Eds. ASM Press, ISBN: 978-1-55581-512-7
  • Meiring, T.L, Mulako, I, Tuffin, M, Meyer, Q, Cowan, DA. (2010) Retrieval of full length functional genes using subtractive hybridization magnetic bead capture. Ch. 20 in: Metagenomics: Methods and Protocols, Vol. 668 of Methods in Molecular Biology, WR. Streit and R. Daniel (Eds.): Humana Press Inc., Totowa NJ, USA. Pp 287-298. ISBN: 978-1-60761-822-5
  • Meiring, TL, Bauer, R, Scheepers, I, Ohloff, C, Tuffin, IM, Cowan, DA. (2011) Metagenomics and beyond: current approaches and integration with complementary technologies. Ch. 1 in Metagenomics: Current Innovations and Future Trends. Marco, D., Ed., Horizon Press, Publ. pp. 1 – 19.
  • Bauer, R, Mutondo, M, Huddy, RJ, Tuffin, IM, Cowan, DA. (2011) Metagenomic gene discovery. Ch. 15 in Metagenomics and its Applications in Agriculture, Biomedicine and Environmental Studies. RW Li, Ed. Nova Science Publ. pp. 287-320.
  • Grant, WD, Pagaling, E, Marquez, C, Gutierrez, C, Cowan, DA, Ma, Y, Jones, BE, Ventosa, A, Heaphy, S. (2011) The Hypersaline Lakes of Inner Mongolia. Ch. 4 in Halophiles and Hypersaline Environments, A. Ventosa et al. (eds.), Springer-Verlag Berlin, pp. 65-107.
  • Taylor, MP, Van Zyl, L, Tuffin, M, Cowan, DA. (2011) Extremophiles and biotechnology: How far have we come? Ch. 1. In Extremophiles: Microbiology and Biotechnology. Anitori, RP, ed. Caister Academic Press, Norwich, pp. 1-23
  • Kirby, BM, Le Roes-Hill, M, Cary, SC, Burton, SG, Tuffin, IM, Cowan, DA. (2011) Actinobacterial diversity associated with Antarctic Dry Valley mineral soils. Ch. 13 in Handbook of Molecular Microbial Ecology II: Metagenomics in Different Habitats, Frans J. de Bruijn, Ed., John Wiley & Sons, New Jersey. ISBN 978-0-470-64719-6
  • Taylor, MT, Ramond, J-B, Tuffin, IM, Burton, SG, Eley, K, Cowan, DA. (2011) Mechanisms and Applications of Microbial Solvent Tolerance. Ch. 6 in Microbial stress tolerance for biofuels: systems biology. Microbiology Monographs, vol. 22, L. Liu, Ed., Springer, London. pp. 177-208
  • Kirby, BM, Barnard, D, Tuffin, IM, Cowan, DA. (2011) Ecological distribution of microorganisms in terrestrial, psychrophilic habitats. In: Extremophiles Handbook., Horikoshi, K.; Antranikian, G.; Bull, A.T.; Robb, F.T.; Stetter, K.O. (Eds.) pp. 839-859.
  • Kirby, BM, Easton, S, Tuffin, IM, Cowan, DA. (2012) Bacterial Diversity in Polar Habitats. Ch. in Polar Microbiology: Life in a deep freeze. Miller, RV, Whyte, LG., Eds. ASM Press. ISBN 978-1-55581-604-9. 312pp.
  • Cowan, D., Tuffin, M., Mulako, I., Cass, J. (2012) Life in Terrestrial Hydrothermal Environments. Ch. in Life in Extremes: Environments, Organisms and Strategies for Survival. Bell, E., Ed., CABI Press. 576 pp. ISBN 978 1 84593 814 7
  • Taylor, MP, Bauer, R, Mackay, S, Tuffin, IM, Cowan, DA. (2012) Extremophiles and their application to biofuel research. In: Sustainable Resources and Biotechnological Implications. OV Singh, Ed, Wiley. In Press

    [Values in brackets: IF/#Citations: data from Google Scholar®]
  • Fernandez-Lafuente, R, Guisan, JM, Ali, S, Cowan, DA (2000) Immobilization of functionally unstable catechol-2,3-dioxygenase greatly improves operational stability. Enzyme Microb. Technol. 26:268-573. [2.3/10]
  • Cowan, DA (2000) Microbial genomes-the untapped resource. Trends Biotechnol. 18:14-16. [9.6/69]
  • Graham, D, Barfield, D, Pereira, RA, Cowan, DA (2000) Nitrile transformation studies using free and immobilised cells of a thermophilic Bacillus sp. Enzyme Microb. Technol. 26:368-373. [2.3/36]
  • Daniel, RM, Cowan, DA (2000) Biomolecular stability and life at high temperatures. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. 57:250-64 [7.0/91]
  • Huneke, F-U, Bailey, D, Nucci, R, Cowan, DA (2000) Sulfolobus solfataricus ƒÒ-glucosidase catalysed synthesis of alkyl glycosides in organic solvents. Biocatal. Biotrans. 18:291-299. [6]
  • Sjoling, S, Cowan, DA (2000) Presence of human-specific enteric micro-organisms in current and historic field camp sites. Polar Biol. 23:644-650. [4]
  • Cowan, DA (2000) Using your neighbours genome! Nature 407:466-467.
  • Atkinson, T, Cairns, S, Cowan, DA, Danson, MJ, Hough, DW, Johnson, DB, Norris, P, Raven, N, Robson, R, Robinson, C, Sharp, RJ (2000) A microbiological survey of Montserrat Island hydrothermal biotopes, Extremophiles 4:305-314. [2.2/31]
  • Baker, GC, Gaffar, S, Cowan, DA Suharto, AR (2001) Microbial community analysis of Indonesian hot-springs. FEMS Microbiol. Lett. 200:103-109 [2.0/31]
  • Burton, S, Cowan, DA, Woodley, JM (2002) The search for the ideal biocatalyst. Nature Biotechnol. 30:35-46 [31.1/161]
  • Burton, SG & Cowan, DA (2002) Development of biotechnology in South Africa. Electron. J. Biotechnol. 5 :33-36. [0.9/2]
  • Bustard, MT, Whiting, S., Cowan, DA, Wright, PC (2002) Biodegradation of high concentration solvents by a solvent tolerant thermophile, Bacillus pallidus. Extremophiles 6:319-323. [2.2/21]
  • Wilkinson, D, Jaenicke, T, Cowan, DA (2002) Efficient cloning of DNA from environmental sources. Biotechnol. Lett. 24:155-161. [1.8/22]
  • Cowan, D.A., Mamais, A. Sheppard, D, Russell, N (2002) Antarctic Dry Valley mineral soils contain unexpectedly high levels of microbial biomass. Extremophiles 6:431-436. [2.2/55]
  • Cowan, DA, Cameron, R, Tsekoa, T (2003) Comparative biology of thermophilic and mesophilic nitrile hydratases, Adv. Appl. Microbiol. 52:123-158. [3.9/15]
  • Baker, G, Ah Tow, L, Cowan, DA (2003) PCR-based detection of non-indigenous micro-organisms in ‘pristine’ environments. J. Microbiol. Methods 53:157-164. [2.0/8]
  • Sjoling, S, Cowan, DA (2003) High 16S rDNA bacterial diversity in glacial meltwater lake sediment, Bratina Island, Antarctica, Extremophiles 7:275-282. [2.2/39]
  • Ah Tow, L, Cowan, DA (2003) Non-specificity of Staphylococcus generic primers. Microbiology 149:1605-1607. [3.0/1]
  • Baker, G, Smith, JJ, Cowan DA (2003) Review and re-analysis of Domain-specific 16S primers, J. Microbiol. Methods 55:451-455. [2.0/409]
  • Cowan DA, Arslanoglu, A., Burton, SG, Baker, GC, Cameron, RA, Smith, JJ, Meyer, Q (2004) Metagenomics, gene discovery and the ideal biocatalyst. Biochem. Soc. Trans. 32:298–302. [3.4/28]
  • Baker, GC, Cowan, DA (2004) 16S rDNA primers and the unbiased assessment of thermophile diversity. Biochem. Soc. Trans. 32:218-221. [3.4/17]
  • Cowan, DA (2004) The upper limit of life - how far can we go? Trends Microbiol. 12:58-60. [7.5/11]
  • Cowan, DA, Ah Tow, L (2004) Endangered Antarctic microbial communities. Ann. Rev. Microbiol. 58, 649-690. [12.4/58]
  • Tsekoa, T, Sayed, M, Sewell, T, Cowan DA. (2004) Preliminary structural analysis of a thermostable nitrile hydratase. S.A. J. Sci. 100, 488-490. [0.5/1]
  • Cameron, RA, Sayed, M, Cowan, DA (2005) Molecular analysis of the nitrile catabolism operon of the thermophile Bacillus pallidus RAPc8. Biochim. Biophys. Acta. 1725, 35-46. [2.5/14]
  • Cowan, DA, Meyer, Q, Stafford, W., Muyanga, S., Cameron, RA, Wittwer P. (2005) Metagenomic gene discovery: past, present and future. Trends Biotechnol. 23:321-329. [9.6/129]
  • Ah Tow, L, Cowan, DA. (2005) Dissemination and survival of non-indigenous bacterial genomes in pristine Antarctic environments. Extremophiles 9:385-389. [2.3/5]
  • Xue, Y, Fan, H, Ventosa, A, Grant, WD, Jones, B, Cowan, DA, Ma, Y. (2005) Haloalkalicoccus tibetense gen. nov., sp. nov. a novel genus of haloalkaliphilic archaeon. Int. J. System. Evol. Microbiol. 55:2501-2505. [2.1/15]
  • Stafford, WHL, Baker, GC, Brown, SA, Burton SG, Cowan DA. (2005) Bacterial diversity in the rhizosphere of Proteaceae species. Environ. Microbiol. 7:1755-1768. [5.5/11]
  • Grant, S, Grant, W, Cowan, DA, Jones, B, Ma, Y, Ventosa, A, Heaphy, S. (2006) Identification of eukaryotic open reading frames in metagenomic cDNA libraries made from environmental samples. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 72:135-43. [3.8/38]
  • Carrasco, IJ, Marquez, MC, Yanfen, X, Ma, Y, Cowan, DA, Jones, BE, Grant WD, Ventosa, A. (2006) Gracilibacillus orientalis sp. nov., a novel moderately halophilic bacterium isolated from a salt lake in Inner Mongolia, China. Int. J. System. Evol. Microbiol. 56:599-604 [1.9/16]
  • Castillo AM, Gutierrez MC, Kamekura M, Ma Y, Cowan DA, Jones BE, Grant WD, Ventosa, A. (2006) Halovivax asiaticus gen. nov. sp. nov., a novel extremely halophilic archaeon isolated from Inner Mongolia, China. Int. J. System. Evol. Microbiol. 56:765-770. [1.9/17]
  • Smith, JJ, Ah Tow, L, Stafford, W, Cary, C, Cowan, DA (2006) Bacterial diversity in three different Antarctic cold desert mineral soils, Microb. Ecol. 51:413-421. [2.9/57]
  • Xue Y, Zhang X, Zhou C, Zhao Y, Cowan DA, Heaphy S, Grant WD, Jones BE, Ventosa, A, Ma Y. (2006) Caldalkalibacillus thermarum gen. nov., sp. nov., a novel alkalithermophilic bacterium from a hot spring in China. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 56:1217-1221. [1.9/2]
  • Castillo AM, Gutierrez MC, Kamekura M, Xue Y, Ma Y, Cowan DA, Jones BE, Grant WD, Ventosa A. (2006) Halostagnicola larsenii gen. nov., sp. nov., an extremely halophilic archaeon from a saline lake in Inner Mongolia, China. Int. J. System. Evol. Microbiol. 56:1519-1524. [2.1/11]
  • Dürr, R, Vielhauer, O, Burton, SG, Cowan, DA, Puñal, A, Brandão, PFB, Bull AT, Syldatk, C. (2006) Distribution of hydantoinase activity in bacterial isolates from geographically distinct environmental sources. J. Mol. Cataly. B. Enzymic. 39:160-165. [2.3/3]
  • Castillo AM, Gutierrez MC, Kamekura M, Xue Y, Ma Y, Cowan DA, Jones BE, Grant WD, Ventosa, A. (2006) Halorubrum orientale sp. nov., a novel halophilic archaeon isolated from Lake Ejinor, Inner Mongolia, China. Int. J. System. Evol. Microbiol. 56:2559-63. [1.9/8]
  • Castillo AM, Gutierrez MC, Kamekura M, Xue Y, Ma Y, Cowan DA, Jones BE, Grant WD, Ventosa, A. (2006) Natrinema ejinorense sp. nov., isolated from a saline lake in Inner Mongolia, China. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 56:2683-2687. [1.9/3]
  • Agakar, VB, Kimini, SH, Cowan, DA, Sayed, MSF-R, Sewell, TB. (2006) The quaternary structure of the amidase from Geobacillus pallidus RAPc8 is revealed by its crystal packing. Acta Cryst. F. 62:1174-1178. [0.5/6]
  • Meyer, QC, Burton, SB, Cowan, DA (2007) Subtractive hybridization magnetic bead capture: A new technique for the recovery of full length ORFs from the metagenome. Biotechnol. J. 2:36-40 [(2.1)/11]
  • Makhongela, HS, Glowacka, A, Agarkar, VB, Sewell, BT, Weber, B, Cameron, RA, Cowan, DA and Burton, SG. (2007) A novel thermostable nitrilase superfamily amidase from Geobacillus pallidus showing acyl transfer activity. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 75:801-811. [3.3/11]
  • Márquez, C, Carrasco, IJ, Xue, Y, Ma, Y, Cowan, DA, Jones, BE, Grant WD, Ventosa, A. (2007) Aquisalimonas asiatica gen. nov., sp. nov., a moderately halophilic bacterium isolated from an alkaline, saline lake in Inner Mongolia, China. Int. J. System. Evol. Microbiol. 57:1137-1142. [1.9/3]
  • Castillo, AM, Gutierrez, MC, Kamekura, K, Ma, Y, Cowan, DA, Jones, BE, Grant WD, Ventosa, A. (2007) Halovivax ruber sp. nov., a novel extremely halophilic archaeon isolated from Inner Mongolia, China. Int. J. System. Evol. Microbiol. 57:1024-1027. [1.9/3]
  • Olaniran, AO, Stafford, WHL, Cowan, DA, Pillay, D, Pillay, B. (2007) Microbial community profiling in cis- and trans-dichloroethene enrichment systems using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. J. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 17:560-570. [1.2/4]
  • Rashamuse, KJ, Burton, SG, Stafford, W, Cowan, DA. (2007) Molecular characterization of a novel family VIII esterase from Burkholdaria multivorans UWC10. J. Mol. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 13:181-188 [2.6/2]
  • Gutiérrez, MC, Castillo, AM, Kamekura, M, Xue, Y, Ma, Y, Cowan, DA, Jones, BE, Grant, WD, Ventosa, A. (2007) Halopiger xanaduensis gen. nov., sp. nov., an extremely halophilic archaeon isolated from a saline lake in Inner Mongolia, China. Int. J. System. Evol. Microbiol. 57:1402-1407. [1.9/9]
  • Silva-Stenico, E, Vengadajellum, CJ, Janjua, HJ, Harrison, STL, Burton, SG, Cowan, DA. (2007) Degradation of low rank coal by Trichoderma atroviride ES11. J. Indust. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 34:625-631. [1.8/3]
  • Pagaling, E., Haigh, R., Grant, WD, Cowan, DA, Jones, B., Ma, Y., Ventosa A., Shaun Heaphy. (2007) Sequence analysis of an archaeal virus isolated from a hypersaline lake in Inner Mongolia, China. BMC Genomics, 8:410-416 [4.2/28]
  • Carrasco, IJ, Márquez, MC, Xue, Y, Ma, Y, Cowan, DA, Jones, BE, Grant, WD, Ventosa, A. (2007) Bacillus chagannorensis sp. nov., a moderate halophile from a soda lake in Inner Mongolia, China. Int. J. System. Evol. Microbiol. 57:2084-2088. [2.1/8]
  • Carrasco, IJ, Márquez, MC, Xue, Y, Ma, Y, Cowan, DA, Jones, BE, Grant, WD, Ventosa, A. (2007) Salsuginibacillus kocurii gen. nov., sp. nov., a moderately halophilic bacterium from soda lake sediment. Int. J. System. Evol. Microbiol. 57: 2381-2386. [2.1/7]
  • Rashamuse, KJ, Burton, SG, Cowan, DA. (2007) A novel recombinant ethyl ferulate esterase from Burkholdaria multivorans. J Appl. Microbiol. 103:1610-1620. [2.4/6]
  • Carrasco, IJ, Márquez, MC, Xue, Y, Ma, Y, Cowan, DA, Jones, BE, Grant, WD, Ventosa, A. (2007) Halorubrum ejinorense sp. nov., isolated from Lake Ejinor, Inner Mongolia, China. Int. J. System. Evol. Microbiol. 57:2538-2542. [2.1/6]
  • Kimani, SW, Agarkar, VB, Cowan, DA, Sayed, MF-R, Sewell, BT. (2007) The crystal structure of an aliphatic amidase from Geobacillus pallidus RAPc8: evidence for a fourth nitrilase catalytic residue. Acta Cryst. D. 63:1048-1058. [6.3/12]
  • Cowan, DA, Casanueva, A. (2007) Stability of ATP in Antarctic desert soils. Polar Biology, 30:1599-1603. [1.4/5]
  • Porter, D., Roychoudhury, AN, Cowan, DA. (2007) Dissimilatory sulphate reduction in hypersaline coastal pans: Part 1. Activity across a salinity gradient. Geochim Cosmochim. Acta. 71:5102-5116 [4.1/11]
  • Wood SA, Rueckert A, Cowan DA, Cary SC. (2008) Aquatic cyanobacteria, important contributors to edaphic cyanobacterial diversity in the Dry Valleys of Eastern Antarctica? ISME J. 2:308-320 [6.2/29]
  • Oboirien, BO, Burton, SG, Cowan, DA, Harrison, STL. (2008) The effect of the particulate phase on coal biosolubilisation mediated by Trichoderma atroviride in a slurry bioreactor. Fuel Processing Technol. 89:123-130. [2.8/4]
  • Casanueva, AI, Galada, N, Baker, GC, Grant, WD, Heaphy, S, Jones, BW, Ma Y, Ventosa, A, Blamey A, Cowan, DA. (2008) Nanoarchaeal 16S rRNA gene sequences are widely dispersed in hyperthermophilic and mesophilic halophilic environments. Extremophiles. 12:651-656. [2.2/5]
  • Gutiérrez, MC, Castillo, AM, Pagaling, E, Heaphy, S, Kamekura, M, Xue, Y, Ma, Y, Cowan, DA, Jones, BE, Grant, WD, Ventosa, A. (2008) Halorubrum kocurii sp. nov., an archaeon isolated from a saline lake. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 58:2031-2035. [2.1/0]
  • Carrasco, IJ, M. C. Márquez, Y. Xue, Y. Ma, D. A. Cowan, B. E. Jones, W. D. Grant and A. Ventosa. (2008) Sediminibacillus halophilus gen. nov., sp. nov., a moderately halophilic Gram-positive bacterium from a hypersaline lake. Int. J. System. Evol. Microbiol. 58:1961-1967. [2.1/3]
  • Márquez, C, Carrasco, IJ, Xue, Y, Ma, Y, Cowan, DA, Jones, BE, Grant, WD and Ventosa, A. (2008) Aquisalibacillus elongatus gen. nov., sp. nov., a moderately halophilic bacterium of the family Bacillaceae isolated from a saline lake. Int. J. System. Evol. Microbiol. 58:1922-1926. [2.1/4]
  • Dürr, R., Neumann, A., Vielhauer, O., Altenbuchner, J., Burton, S.G., Cowan, D.A., Syldatk, C. (2008) Genes responsible for hydantoin degradation of a halophilic Ochrobactrum sp. G21 and Delftia sp. I24 - New insight into relation of d-hydantoinases and dihydropyrimidinases. J. Molec. Cataly. B: Enzymatic 52-53, pp. 2. [2.3/2]
  • Hu, L, Pan, H, Xue, Y, Ventosa, A, Cowan, DA, Jones, BE, Grant, WD, Ma, Y. (2008) Halorubrum luteum sp. nov., isolated from Lake Chagannur, Inner Mongolia, China. Int. J. System. Evol. Microbiol. 58:1705-1708. [2.1/4]
  • Taylor, M, Tuffin, M, Burton, SG, Eley, K, Cowan, DA. (2008) Microbial responses to solvent and alcohol stress. Biotechnol. J. 3:1388-1397 [(2.1)/5]
  • Cowan, DA. (2008) Biotechnology in South Africa. Biotechnol. J. 3:1322-1323 [(2.1)/0]
  • Babalola, OO, Kirby, BM, Le Roes-Hill, M, Cook, AE, Cary, SC, Burton, SG, Cowan, DA. (2009) Phylogenetic analysis of actinobacterial populations associated with Antarctic Dry Valley mineral soils. Envir. Microbiol. 11:566-576 [5.5/19]
  • le Roes-Hill, M, Rohland, J, Meyers, PR, Cowan, DA, Burton, SG. (2009) Streptomyces hypolithicus sp. nov., a novel streptomycete isolated from a hypolith community, Antarctica. Int. J. System. Evol. Microbiol. 59:2033-2036 [1.9/0]
  • Taylor, M, Eley, K, Martin, S, Tuffin, IM, Burton, SG, Cowan DA (2009) Thermophilic ethanologenesis. Future prospects for second generation ethanol production. Trends Biotechnol. 27:398-405 [9.6/27]
  • Ruiz Sebastián, C, Sink, KJ, McClanahan, TR, Cowan, DA (2009) Bleaching response of corals and their Symbiodinium communities in southern Africa. Marine Biology 156:2049-2062 [2.0/3]
  • Heath, C, Hu, XP, Cary, SC, Cowan, DA. (2009) Isolation and characterisation of a novel, low-temperature-active alkaliphilic esterase from an Antarctic desert soil metagenome. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 75:4657-4659 [3.8/21]
  • Pagaling, E, Wang, H, Venables, M, Wallace, A, Grant, WD, Cowan, DA, Jones, BE, Ma, Y, Ventosa, A, Heaphy, S. (2009) Microbial biogeography of six salt lakes in Inner Mongolia and one salt lake in Argentina. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 75:5750-5760 [3.8/5]
  • Tuffin, IM, Anderson, D, Heath, C, Cowan, DA (2009) Metagenomic gene discovery: How far have we moved in sequence space? Biotechnol. J. 4:1671-1683. [(2.1)/7]
  • Cowan, DA (2009) Cryptic microbial communities in Antarctic deserts. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci, USA. 106:19749-19750 [9.8/5]
  • Cowan, DA, Tuffin, IM (2009) Capturing global metabolism. Nature Biotechnol. 27:1132-1133 [31.1/0]
  • Wong FK, Lau MC, Lacap DC, Aitchison JC, Cowan DA, Pointing SB (2010) Endolithic microbial colonization of limestone in a high-altitude arid environment. Microb. Ecol. 59:689-699 [2.9/2]
  • Cary, SC, McDonald, I, Barrett, JE and Cowan, DA. (2010) On the rocks: Microbial ecology of Antarctic cold desert soils. Nature Rev. Microbiol. 8:129-138. [20.7/36]
  • Wong, FKY, Lacap, DC, Lau, MCY, Aitchison, JC, Cowan, DA, Pointing, SB. (2010) Hypolithic microbial community of quartz pavement in the high-altitude tundra of central Tibet. Microb. Ecol. 60:730-739 [2.9/6]
  • Musingarimi, W., Tuffin, M., Cowan, D. (2010) Characterisation of the Arsenic Resistance Genes in Bacillus sp. UWC Isolated from Maturing Fly Ash-Acid Mine Drainage Neutralized Solids. S.A. J. Sci. 106:59-63. [0.6/0]
  • Staniland, S., Coppock, M., Tuffin, M., van Zyl, L., Roychoudhury, A. N., Cowan, D. (2010) Cobalt uptake and resistance to trace metals in Comamonas testosteroni isolated from a heavy-metal contaminated site in the Zambian Copperbelt. Geomicrobiol. J. 27:656-662 [1.7/x]
  • Bauer, R, Cowan, DA, Crouch, A. (2010) Acrolein in wine: Importance of 3-hydroxypropionaldehyde and derivatives in production and detection. J. Agric. Food Chem. 58:3243-3250. [2.8/0]
  • Barnard, D, Casanueva, A, Tuffin, IM, Cowan DA. (2010) Extremophiles in biofuels production. Environ. Technol. 31:871-888. [1.0/3]
  • Cowan, DA, Khan, N, Pointing, S, Cary, SC. (2010) Diverse hypolithic refuge communities in Antarctic Dry Valleys, Antarct. Sci. 22:714-720 [1.3/5]
  • Casanueva, A., Tuffin, IM, Cary, SC and Cowan, DA. (2010) Molecular adaptations to psychrophily: The impact of 'omic' technologies. Trends Microbiol. 18:374-381. [7.5/4]
  • Williamson, DS, Dent, KC, Weber, BW, Varsani, A, Frederick, J, Thuku, RN, Cameron, RA, van Heerden, JH, Cowan, DA, Sewell, BT. (2010) Structural and biochemical characterization of a nitrilase from the thermophilic bacterium, Geobacillus pallidus RAPc8. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 88:143-153. [3.6/0]
  • Velankar H, Clarke KG, du Preez R, Cowan DA, Burton SG. (2010) Developments in nitrile and amide biotransformation processes. Trends Biotechnol. 28:561-569 [9.6/1]
  • Meiring, T, Mulako, I, Tuffin, MI, Meyer, Q, Cowan, DA. (2010) Retrieval of full-length functional genes using subtractive hybridization magnetic bead capture. Methods Mol. Biol. 668:287-297. [13.9/0]
  • Olaofe, OA, Burton, SG, Cowan, DA, Harrison, STL (2010) Improving the production of a thermostable amidase through optimising IPTG induction in a highly dense culture of recombinant Escherichia coli. Biochem. Engineer. J. 52:19-24 [2.7/1]
  • Chiyanzu, I, Cowan, DA, Burton, SG (2010) Immobilization of a nitrile hydratase (NHase) from Geobacillus pallidus RAPc8 overcomes substrate inhibition and enhances stability. J. Mol. Catal. B, Enzymatic. 63:109-115. [2.3/3]
  • Cowan DA, Pointing SB, Stevens MI, Cary SC, Stomeo F, Tuffin IM. (2011) Distribution and abiotic influences on hypolithic microbial communities in an Antarctic Dry Valley. Polar Biol. 34:307–311. [1.4/4]
  • Taylor, MP, van Zyl, L, Tuffin, IM, Leak, DJ, Cowan, DA. (2011) Genetic tool development underpins recent advances in thermophilic whole-cell biocatalysts. Microb. Biotechnol. 4:438-448. [(2.1)/1]
  • Welz, PJ, Ramond, J-B, Cowan, DA, Prins, A, Burton SG. (2011) Ethanol degradation and the benefits of incremental priming in pilot-scale constructed wetlands. Ecol. Engineer. 37:1453-1459. [2.2/0]
  • Nel, AJM, Tuffin, IM, Sewell, BT, Cowan, DA. (2011) A unique aliphatic amidase from a psychrotrophic and haloalkaliphilic Nesterenkonia isolate. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 77:3696-3702. [3.8/1]
  • Rohr, LM, Mashaphu, N, Sheridan, C, Burton, SG, and Cowan, DA. (2011) Seasonal shifts of the microbial community structure in a winery waste-impacted wetland soil. Trans. Roy. Soc. S.A. 66:41-53.
  • Cowan, DA, Sohm, JA, Makhalanyane, T, Capone, DG, Green, TGA and Cary, SC. (2011) Hypolithic communities: important nitrogen sources in Antarctic desert soils, Envir. Microbiol. Rep. 3:581-586 [3.1/0]
  • Khan, N, Tuffin, IM, Stafford, W, Cary, SC, Lacap, DC, Pointing, SB, Cowan, DA (2011) Hypolithic microbial community colonization of quartz rocks from Miers Valley, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. Polar Biol. 34:1657-1668 [1.4/1]
  • Cowan, DA, Fernendez-Lafuente, R (2011) Enhancement of thermophilic enzymes by chemical modification and immobilization. A review. Enz. Microb. Technol. 49: 326-346 [2.3/0]
  • Cowan, DA, Chown, SL, Convey, P, Tuffin, IM, Hughes, K, Pointing, SB, Vincent, WF. (2011) Non-indigenous microorganisms in the Antarctic – assessing the risks. Trends Microbiol. 19:540-548 [7.5/0]
  • Ramond J-B, Welz P.J., Cowan D.A., Burton S.G. (2012) Microbial community structure stability, a key parameter in monitoring the development of constructed wetland mesocosms during start-up. Res. Microbiol. 163:28-35. [2.4/0]
  • Hu, XP, Heath, C, Taylor, MP, Tuffin, IM, Cowan, DA (2012). A novel, extremely alkaliphilic and cold active esterase from Antarctic desert soil. Extremophiles. 16:79-86 [2.2/0]
  • Tiao, G, Lee, CK, McDonald, IR, Cowan, DA, Cary, SC. (2012) Rapid microbial response to removal of the presence of an ancient relic in the Antarctic Dry Valleys. Nature Comms. 3: 360
  • Taylor, MP, Mulako, I, Tuffin, IM, Cowan, DA (2012).Understanding physiological responses to pre-treatment inhibitors in ethanologenic fermentations. Biotechnol. J. In Press [(2.1)]
  • Sanyika, WT, Stafford, W, Tuffin, IM, Cowan, DA. (2012) The soil and plant determinants of community structures of the dominant actinobacteria in Marion Island terrestrial habitats, Sub-Antarctica. Polar Biol. DOI 10.1007/s00300-012-1160-0 [1.4/0]
  • Szeker, K, Zhou, X, Schwab, T, Casanueva, A, Cowan, D, Mikhailopulo, IA, Neubauer, P. (2012) Comparative investigations on thermostable pyrimidine nucleoside phosphorylases from Geobacillus thermoglucosidasius and Thermus thermophilus. Journal of Molecular Catalysis B: Enzymatic. In Press
  • Stomeo, F, Makhalanyane, T, Valverde, A, Pointing, S, Stevens, M, Cary, SC, Tuffin, Cowan, DA (2012) Abiotic factors influence microbial diversity in permanently cold soil horizons of a maritime-associated Antarctic Dry Valley. FEMS Microb. Ecol. Mar 19. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2012.01360
  • Pagaling E, Grant WD, Cowan DA, Jones BE, Ma Y, Ventosa A, Heaphy, S. (2012) Bacterial and Archaeal diversity in two hot spring microbial mats from the geothermal region of Tengchong, China. Extremophiles, Accepted for publication
  • di Prisco, G, Convey, P, Gutt, J, Cowan, DA, Conlan, K, Verde, C. (2012) Understanding and Protecting the World's Biodiversity: the Role and Legacy of the SCAR Programme "Evolution and Biodiversity in the Antarctic”. Marine Genomics, In Press.
  • Chown,SL, Lee, JE, Hughes, KA, Barnes, J, Barrett, PJ, Bergstrom, DM, Convey, P, Cowan, DA, Crosbie, K, Dyer, G, Frenot,Y, Grant, SM, Herr, D, Kennicutt, MC, Lamers, M, Murray, A, Possingham, HP, Reid, K, Riddle, MJ, Ryan, PG, Sanson, L, Shaw, JD, Sparrow, MD, Summerhayes, C, Terauds, A, Wall, DH. (2012) Challenges to the Future Conservation of the Antarctic. Science, Accepted for publication.
  • Valverde, A, Tuffin, IM, Cowan, DA. (2012) Biogeography of bacterial communities in hot springs: a focus on the actinobacteria. Extremophiles, Accepted for publication
  • Welz, PJ, Ramond, J-B, Cowan, DA, Burton, SG (2012) Phenolic removal processes in biological sand filters, sand columns and microcosms. Biores. Technol., Accepted for publication.
  • Meiring, T, Tuffin, IM, Cowan, DA. (2012) Genome sequence of temperate
    bacteriophage Psymv2 from Antarctic Dry Valley soil isolate
    Psychrobacter sp. MV2" Thermophiles Accepted for publication.
  • Lacap, DC, Chan, Y, Lau, MCY, Warren-Rhodes, KA, Cockell, CC, Cowan, DA, McKay, CP, Pointing, SB. Hypolithic microbial communities: Between a rock and a hard place. ISME J., Accepted for publication.