Mark R. Liles
Associate Professor

Office: 316 Rouse Life Science Building
and 277 CASIC Building

Lab: 255 CASIC Building

101 Rouse Life Science Bldg.
Auburn University, AL 36849

Office Phone: (334) 844-1656
Lab Phone: (334) 844-2200
Email Mark R. Liles

Lab/Research Page


Tulane University, New Orleans, B.S. in Biology 1991
Northwestern University, Ph.D. in Microbiology, NIH Predoctoral Fellow 1998

Professional Employment

Auburn University, Associate Professor 2011 - current
Auburn University, Assistant Professor 2005 - 2011
University of Wisconsin-Madison, NIH Postdoctoral Fellow 1998 - 2005
Touro Infirmary, New Orleans, Research Technician 1991 - 1992

Research and Teaching Interests

My research group has an interest in three primary areas: 1) Metagenomic Analysis of Bacterial and Viral Assemblages. My lab has used a microbial community genomic approach (a.k.a.“metagenomic”) to study complex microbial assemblages in natural and man-made environments. These studies have different biological questions that drive the research question and exact experimental approach including the study of a) Natural Product Discovery from Soil Metagenomes, b) Viral genomes and virally-encoded natural products, and c) Microbiome studies in which plant or animal-associated microorganisms are impacted by biotic or abiotic factors. 2) Biological Control of Disease. Research to identify and apply biological control agents such as beneficial bacterial “probiotics” within the genus Bacillus in order to prevent and control disease in aquaculture farmed fish and in agriculturally important crop species. 3) Pathogenesis and control of virulent Aeromonas hydrophila. Our studies have led to the development of diagnostic methods and a vaccine for a virulent strain of Aeromonas hydrophila that is responsible for severe epidemic outbreaks of disease in farmed fish in the United States and in China. My lab is studying the pathogenesis of disease and the control of disease using both biological control agents and an attenuated vaccine.

Selected Publications

  1. Hossain, M.J., Ran, C., Liu, K., Ryu, C.-M., Rasmussen-Ivey, C.R., Williams, M.A., Hassan, M.K., Choi, S.K., Jeong, H., Newman, M., Kloepper, J.W., and Liles, M.R. (2015) Deciphering the conserved genetic loci implicated in disease control through comparative genomics of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens subsp. plantarum strains. Frontiers in Plant Science, 6:631. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2015.00631
  2. Beaz-Hidalgo, R., Latif-Eugenin, F., Hossain, M.J., Berg, K., Niemi, M., Rapala, J., Lyra, C., Liles, M.R., and Figueras, M.J. (2015) Aeromonas aquatica sp. nov., Aeromonas finlandiensis sp. nov. and Aeromonas lacus sp. nov. isolated from Finnish waters associated with cyanobacterial blooms.  Systematic and Applied Microbiology, 38(3):161-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.syapm.2015.02.005
  3. Ravu, R.R., Jacob, M.R., Chen, X., Wang, M., Nasrin, S., Kloepper, J.W., Liles, M.R., Mead, D.A., Khan, I.A., and Li, X.-C. (2015) Bacillusin A, A Potent Antibacterial Macrodiolide from Bacillus amyloliquefaciens AP183. Journal of Natural Products, 78(4):924-8. DOI: 10.1021/np500911k
  4. Hossain, M.J., Sun, D., McGarey, D.J., Wrenn, S., Alexander, L.M., Martino, M.E., Xing, Y., Terhune, J.S., and Liles, M.R. (2014) An Asian origin of virulent Aeromonas hydrophila responsible for disease epidemics in United States-farmed catfish. mBio 5(3):e00848-14. doi:10.1128/mBio.00848-14.
  5. Zhou, J., Sun, D., Childers, A., McDermott, T.R., Wang, Y., and Liles, M.R. (2014) Three novel virophage genomes discovered from Yellowstone Lake metagenomes. Journal of Virology doi:  10.1128/JVI.03039-14
  6. Chander, Y., Koelbl, J., Puckett, J., Moser, M.J., Liles, M.R., Carrias, A., Mead, D.A. and Schoenfeld, T.W. (2014) OmniAmp DNA polymerase, a novel thermostable viral enzyme for LAMP. Frontiers in Microbiology 5:1-11, doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2014.00395.
  7. Hossain, M.J., Waldbieser, G.C., Sun, D., Capps, N.K., Hemstreet, W.B., Griffin, M.J., Khoo, L., Goodwin, A.E., Sonstegard, T., Schroeder, S., Hayden, K., Newton, J.C., Terhune, J.S. and Liles, M.R. (2013) Implication of lateral genetic transfer in the emergence of Aeromonas hydrophila isolates of epidemic outbreaks in channel catfish. PLOS ONE 8(11): e80943.
  8. Zheng, H., Chatfield, C.H., Liles, M.R., and Cianciotto, N.P. (2013) Secreted Pyomelanin of Legionella pneumophila Promotes Bacterial Iron Uptake and Growth Under Iron-Limiting Conditions. Infection and Immunity, 81(11):4182-91.
  9. Ran, C., Carrias, A., Williams, M.A., Capps, N., Dan, B.C.T, Newton, J.C., Kloepper, J.W., Ooi, E.L.,  Browdy, C.L., Terhune, J.S., and Liles, M.R. (2012) Identification of Bacillus strains for biological control of catfish pathogens.PLOS ONE 7(9): e45793. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0045793.
  10. Morrow, K.M., Moss, A., Chadwick, N.E., and Liles, M.R. (2012) Bacterial assemblages of two Caribbean coral species reveal species-specific distribution and geographic variability.  Applied and Environmental Microbiology78(18):6438-6449.
  11. Hossain, M.J., Rahman, K.S., Terhune, J.S., and Liles, M.R. (2012) An Outer Membrane Porin Protein Modulates Phage Susceptibility in Edwardsiella ictaluri.  Microbiology 158:488-497.
  12. Parsley, L.C., Goode, A.M., Becklund, K., George, I., Linneman, J., Lopanik, N.B., Goodman, R.M., and Liles, M.R. (2011) Polyketide synthase pathways identified from a metagenomic library are derived from soil Acidobacteria. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 78(1):176-187.
  13. Kakirde, K.S., Wild, J., Godiska, R., Mead, D., Wiggins, A.G., Szybalski, W., and Liles, M.R. (2011) Gram-negative shuttle BAC vector for heterologous expression of metagenomic libraries. Gene 475(2):57-62.


Undergraduate Graduate
Microbial Evolution and Diversity - BIOL5250
Applied and Environmental Microbiology - BIOL5700
Microbial Evolution and Diversity - BIOL6250
Applied and Environmental Microbiology - BIOL6700

Last updated: 01/08/2016