Christian Sohlenkamp

Ecological Genomics Researcher

Associate Professor


Christian Sohlenkamp studied biotechnology at the Technical University of Berlin, Germany. His diploma thesis was titled “Phosphatidylcholine synthase in rhizobia”. He did his doctoral studies at the Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology in Golm, Germany , about the mechanisms of ammonium transport in Arabidopsis thaliana under the supervision of Michael Udvardi. He received his doctoral title from the Technical University of Berlin in 2001. As a Feodor-Lynen Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, he did postdoctoral work in Mexico at the Nitrogen Fixation Center (CIFN) of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) with Otto Geiger working on the role of bacterial cell surfaces in the pathogenic and symbiotic interactions between bacteria and eukaryotic hosts. He currently holds the position of an Assistant Professor (Investigador Titular B) at the Center for Genomic Sciences (formerly CIFN) at the UNAM (Campus Morelos, Cuernavaca).. Christian Sohlenkamp was crucially involved in the discovery of the phosphatidylcholine synthase pathway which constitutes a major route for phosphatidylcholine formation in bacteria and he was the first to describe the AMT2 family of ammonium transporters in plants.
The focus of his work is on the biosynthesis, turnover and degradation of bacterial membrane lipids. He is also interested how changes in the composition of the lipid bilayer affect the resistance of the bacteria to abiotic stress and the interactions with eukaryotic hosts. Ongoing projects include “Function of ornithine lipids in Vibrio cholerae”, “Understanding the acid stress response in Rhizobium tropici”, “New pathways for synthesis and hydroxylation of ornithine lipids”, and “Modulating membrane properties and phenotypes of bacteria by combinatorial engineering of ornithine lipids”. For their research the group uses, but also develops tools of microbiology, molecular biology, biochemistry and genomics.
He is Associate Editor of the journal Frontiers in Microbiology- Microbial Physiology and Metabolism and he is Editorial Board Member of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.


Google Scholar

Selected publications

1. Sohlenkamp, C., and O. Geiger. 2016. Bacterial membrane lipids: Diversity in structures and pathways. FEMS Microbiology Reviews. 40:133-59.
2. Vences-Guzmán, M.A., Guan, Z., Escobedo-Hinojosa, W.I., Bermúdez-Barrientes, J.R., Geiger, O., and C. Sohlenkamp. 2015. Discovery of a bifunctional acyltransferase responsible for ornithine lipid synthesis in Serratia proteamaculans. Environmental Microbiology. 17:1487-1496.
3. Vences-Guzmán, M. Á., Guan, Z., Ormeño-Orrillo, E., González-Silva, N., López-Lara, I. M., Martínez-Romero, E., Geiger, O., and C. Sohlenkamp. 2011. Hydroxylated ornithine lipids increase stress tolerance in Rhizobium tropici CIAT899. Mol. Microbiol. 79:1496-1514.
4. Sohlenkamp, C., M. Shelden, S. Howitt, and M. Udvardi. 2000.
Characterization of Arabidopsis AtAMT2, a novel ammonium transporter in plants. FEBS Lett. 467:273-278.
5. Sohlenkamp, C., K. E. E. de Rudder, V. Röhrs, I. M. López-Lara, and O. Geiger. 2000. Cloning and characterization of the gene for phosphatidylcholine synthase. J. Biol. Chem. 275:18919-18925.

Telephone: (777) 3131697


2018Hölzl G, Sohlenkamp C, Vences-Guzmán MA, Gisch N (2018) Headgroup hydroxylation by OlsE occurs at the C4 position of ornithine lipid and is widespread in proteobacteria and bacteroidetes. CHEM PHYS LIPIDS 213():32-38 [doi:10.1016/j.chemphyslip.2018.03.002]29524395
2017Sandoval-Calderón M, Guan Z, Sohlenkamp C (2017) Knowns and unknowns of membrane lipid synthesis in streptomycetes Biochimie 141():21-29 [doi:10.1016/j.biochi.2017.05.008]28522365
2017Angel Vences-Guzman, Miguel, Goetting-Minesky, M. Paula, Guan, Ziqiang, Castillo-Ramirez, Santiago, America Cordoba-Castro, Luz, Lopez-Lara, Isabel M., Geiger, Otto, Sohlenkamp, Christian, Fenno, J. Christopher (2017) 1,2-Diacylglycerol choline phosphotransferase catalyzes the final step in the unique Treponema denticola phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis pathway Molecular Microbiology 103(5):896-912 [doi:10.1111/mmi.13596]28009086
2016Wang, Mingxun, Carver, Jeremy J., Phelan, Vanessa V., Sanchez, Laura M., Garg, Neha, Peng, Yao, Don Duy Nguyen, Watrous, Jeramie, Kapono, Clifford A., Luzzatto-Knaan, Tal, Porto, Carla, Bouslimani, Amina, Melnik, Alexey V., Meehan, Michael J., Liu, Wei -Ting, Criisemann, Max, Boudreau, Paul D., Esquenazi, Eduardo, Sandoval-Calderon, Mario, Kersten, Roland D., Pace, Laura A., Quinn, Robert A., Duncan, Katherine R., Hsu, Cheng-Chih, Floros, Dimitrios J., Gavilan, Ronnie G., Kleigrewe, Karin, Northen, Trent, Dutton, Rachel J., Parrot, Delphine, Carlson, Erin E., Aigle, Bertrand, Michelsen, Charlotte F., Jelsbak, Lars, Sohlenkamp, Christian, Pevzner, Pavel, Edlund, Anna, McLean, Jeffrey, Piel, Jorn, Murphy, Brian T., Gerwick, Lena, Liaw, Chih-Chuang, Yang, Yu-Liang, Humpf, Hans-Ulrich, Maansson, Maria, Keyzers, Robert A., Sims, Amy C., Johnson, Andrew R., Sidebottom, Ashley M., Sedio, Brian E., Klitgaard, Andreas, Larson, Charles B., Boya P, Cristopher A., Torres-Mendoza, Daniel, Gonzalez, David J., Silva, Denise B., Marques, Lucas M., Demarque, Daniel P., Pociute, Egle, O'Neill, Ellis C., Briand, Enora, Helfrich, Eric J. N., Granatosky, Eve A., Glukhov, Evgenia, Ryffel, Florian, Houson, Hailey, Mohimani, Hosein, Kharbush, Jenan J., Zeng, Yi, Vorholt, Julia A., Kurita, Kenji L., Charusanti, Pep, McPhail, Kerry L., Nielsen, Kristian Fog, Vuong, Lisa, Elfeki, Maryam, Traxler, Matthew F., Engene, Niclas, Koyama, Nobuhiro, Vining, Oliver B., Baric, Ralph, Silva, Ricardo R., Mascuch, Samantha J., Tomasi, Sophie, Jenkins, Stefan, Macherla, Venkat, Hoffman, Thomas, Agarwal, Vinayak, Williams, Philip G., Dai, Jingqui, Neupane, Ram, Gurr, Joshua, Rodriguez, Andres M. C., Lamsa, Anne, Zhang, Chen, Dorrestein, Kathleen, Duggan, Brendan M., Almaliti, Jehad, Allard, Pierre-Marie, Phapale, Prasad, Nothias, Louis-Felix, Alexandrovr, Theodore, Litaudon, Marc, Wolfender, Jean-Luc, Kyle, Jennifer E., Metz, Thomas O., Peryea, Tyler, Dac-Trung Nguyen, VanLeer, Danielle, Shinn, Paul, Jadhav, Ajit, Muller, Rolf, Waters, Katrina M., Shi, Wenyuan, Liu, Xueting, Zhang, Lixin, Knight, Rob, Jensen, Paul R., Palsson, Bernhard O., Pogliano, Kit, Linington, Roger G., Gutierrez, Marcelino, Lopes, Norberto P., Gerwick, William H., Moore, Bradley S., Dorrestein, Pieter C., Bandeira, Nuno (2016) Sharing and community curation of mass spectrometry data with Global Natural Products Social Molecular Networking Nature Biotechnology 34(8):828-837 [doi:10.1038/nbt.3597]27504778
2015Sandoval-Calderón M, Nguyen DD, Kapono CA, Herron P, Dorrestein PC, Sohlenkamp C (2015) Plasticity of Streptomyces coelicolor Membrane Composition Under Different Growth Conditions and During Development Frontiers in Microbiology 6():1465-1465 [doi:10.3389/fmicb.2015.01465]26733994
2015Sohlenkamp, C., Geiger, O. (2015) Bacterial membrane lipids: Diversity in structures and pathways Fems Microbiology Reviews 40(1):133-159 [doi:10.1093/femsre/fuv008]25862689
2015Escobedo-Hinojosa, W.I., Vences-Guzmán, M.Á., Schubotz, F., Sandoval-Calderón, M., Summons, R.E., López-Lara, I.M., Geiger, O., Sohlenkamp, C. (2015) OlsG (Sinac-1600) Is an ornithine lipid N-Methyltransferase from the planctomycete Singulisphaera acidiphila Journal Of Biological Chemistry 290(24):15102-15111 [doi:10.1074/jbc.M115.639575]25925947
2015Angel Vences-Guzman, Miguel, Guan, Ziqiang, Itzel Escobedo-Hinojosa, Wendy, Roberto Bermudez-Barrientos, Jose, Geiger, Otto, Sohlenkamp, Christian (2015) Discovery of a bifunctional acyltransferase responsible for ornithine lipid synthesis in Serratia proteamaculans Environmental Microbiology 17(5):1487-1496 [doi:10.1111/1462-2920.12562]25040623
2015Sahonero-Canavesi, D.X., Sohlenkamp, C., Sandoval-Calderón, M., Lamsa, A., Pogliano, K., López-Lara, I.M., Geiger, O. (2015) Fatty acid-releasing activities in Sinorhizobium meliloti include unusual diacylglycerol lipase Environmental Microbiology 17(9):3391-3406 [doi:10.1111/1462-2920.12814]25711932
2014Semeniuk, A., Sohlenkamp, Christian, Duda, K., Holzl, G. (2014) A Bifunctional Glycosyltransferase from Agrobacterium tumefaciens Synthesizes Monoglucosyl and Glucuronosyl Diacylglycerol under Phosphate Deprivation* Journal Of Biological Chemistry 289(14):10104-10114 [doi:10.1074/jbc.M113.519298]24558041
2013Hernández Tamayo, Rogelio, Sohlenkamp, Christian, Puente, J.L., Brom Klanner, Susana, Romero Camarena, David René (2013) Characterization of IntA, a Bidirectional Site-Specific Recombinase Required for Conjugative Transfer of the Symbiotic Plasmid of Rhizobium etli CFN42 Journal Of Bacteriology 195(20):4668-4677 [doi:10.1128/JB.00714-13]23935046
2013Abdel-Haliem, M.E.F., Sakr, A.A., Ali, M.F., Ghaly, M.F., Sohlenkamp, Christian (2013) Characterization of Streptomyces isolates causing colour changes of mural paintings in ancient Egyptian tombs Microbiological Research 168(7):428-437 [doi:10.1016/j.micres.2013.02.004]23507492
2013Sohlenkamp, C, Raetz, C.R.H., Ingram, B.O. (2013) The calcium-stimulated lipid A 3-O deacylase from Rhizobium etli is not essential for plant nodulation Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta-Molecular And Cell Biology Of Lipids 1831(7):1250-1259 [doi:10.1016/j.bbalip.2013.04.002]23583844
2013Geiger, O, Lopez-Lara, IM, Sohlenkamp, C (2013) Phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis and function in bacteria Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta-Molecular And Cell Biology Of Lipids 1831(3, SI):503-513 [doi:10.1016/j.bbalip.2012.08.009]22922101
2013Vences Guzmán, Miguel Ángel, Guan, Z.Q., Bermúdez Barrientos, José Roberto, Geiger, Otto, Sohlenkamp, Christian (2013) Agrobacteria lacking ornithine lipids induce more rapid tumour formation Environmental Microbiology 15(3, SI):895-906 [doi:10.1111/j.1462-2920.2012.02867.x]22958119
2012Vences Guzmán, Miguel Ángel, Geiger, Otto, Sohlenkamp, Christian (2012) Ornithine lipids and their structural modifications: from A to E and beyond Fems Microbiology Letters 335(1):1-10 [doi:10.1111/j.1574-6968.2012.02623.x]22724388
2012Solis Oviedo, Rosa Lidia, Martínez-Morales, F., Geiger, Otto, Sohlenkamp, Christian (2012) Functional and topological analysis of phosphatidylcholine synthase from Sinorhizobium meliloti Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta-Molecular And Cell Biology Of Lipids 1821(4):573-581 [doi:10.1016/j.bbalip.2012.01.016]22333179
2011Vences Guzmán, Miguel Ángel, Guan, Z.Q., Ormeño Orrillo, Ernesto Aldo, González Silva, Napoleón, López Lara, Isabel María, Martínez Romero, María Esperanza, Geiger, Otto, Sohlenkamp, Christian (2011) Hydroxylated ornithine lipids increase stress tolerance in Rhizobium tropici CIAT899 Molecular Microbiology 79(6):1496-1514 [doi:10.1111/j.1365-2958.2011.07535.x]21205018
2010Ingram, Brian O., Sohlenkamp, Christian, Geiger, Otto, Raetz, Christian R. H. (2010) Altered lipid A structures and polymyxin hypersensitivity of Rhizobium etli mutants lacking the LpxE and LpxF phosphatases Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta-Molecular And Cell Biology Of Lipids 1801(5):593-604 [doi:10.1016/j.bbalip.2010.02.001]20153447
2010Medeot, Daniela B., Sohlenkamp, Christian, Dardanelli, Marta S., Geiger, Otto, Garcia de Lema, Mirta, Lopez-Lara, Isabel M. (2010) Phosphatidylcholine levels of peanut-nodulating Bradyrhizobium sp SEMIA 6144 affect cell size and motility Fems Microbiology Letters 303(2):123-131 [doi:10.1111/j.1574-6968.2009.01873.x]20030724
2010Zavaleta-Pastor, Maritza, Sohlenkamp, Christian, Gao, Jun-Lian, Guan, Ziqiang, Zaheer, Rahat, Finan, Turlough M., Raetz, Christian R. H., Lopez-Lara, Isabel M., Geiger, Otto (2010) Sinorhizobium meliloti phospholipase C required for lipid remodeling during phosphorus limitation PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 107(1):302-307 [doi:10.1073/pnas.0912930107]20018679
2010Geiger, Otto, Sohlenkamp, Christian, López Lara, Isabel María (2010) Formation of bacterial membrane lipids: pathways, enzymes, reactions Handbook of Hydrocarbon and Lipid Microbiology Hydrocarbons, Oils, and Lipids: Diversity, Properties and Formation ():396-405
2010Geiger, Otto, Gonzalez-Silva, Napoleon, Lopez-Lara, Isabel M., Sohlenkamp, Christian (2010) Amino acid-containing membrane lipids in bacteria Progress In Lipid Research 49(1):46-60 [doi:10.1016/j.plipres.2009.08.002]19703488
2009Sandoval-Calderon, Mario, Geiger, Otto, Guan, Ziqiang, Barona-Gomez, Francisco, Sohlenkamp, Christian (2009) A Eukaryote-like Cardiolipin Synthase Is Present in Streptomyces coelicolor and in Most Actinobacteria Journal Of Biological Chemistry 284(26):17383-17390 [doi:10.1074/jbc.M109.006072]19439403
2009Laura Ramos-Vega, Ana, Davila-Martinez, Yadira, Sohlenkamp, Christian, Contreras-Martinez, Sandra, Encarnacion, Sergio, Geiger, Otto, Lopez-Lara, Isabel M. (2009) SMb20651 is another acyl carrier protein from Sinorhizobium meliloti MICROBIOLOGY-SGM 155(Pt 1):257-267 [doi:10.1099/mic.0.022079-0]19118366
2008Angel Vences-Guzman, Miguel, Geiger, Otto, Sohlenkamp, Christian (2008) Sinorhizobium meliloti mutants deficient in phosphatidylserine decarboxylase accumulate phosphatidylserine and are strongly affected during symbiosis with alfalfa Journal Of Bacteriology 190(20):6846-6856 [doi:10.1128/JB.00610-08]18708506
2008Geiger, Otto, López Lara, Isabel María, Sohlenkamp, Christian (2008) Altered formations of special eubacterial membrane lipids affect bacterial interactions with eukaryotic hosts Current Plant Science and Biotechnology. Agriculture Biological Nitrogen Fixation, Sustainable Agriculture and the Environment 42(0):245-246
2008Hacker, Stephanie, Sohlenkamp, Christian, Aktas, Meriyem, Geiger, Otto, Narberhaus, Franz (2008) Multiple phospholipid N-methyltransferases with distinct substrate specificities are encoded in Bradyrhizobium japonicum Journal Of Bacteriology 190(2):571-580 [doi:10.1128/JB.01423-07]17993534
2007Sohlenkamp, Christian, Galindo-Lagunas, Kanaan A., Guan, Ziqiang, Vinuesa, Pablo, Robinson, Sally, Thomas-Oates, Jane, Raetz, Christian R. H., Geiger, Otto (2007) The lipid lysyl-phosphatidylglycerol is present in membranes of Rhizobium tropici CIAT899 and confers increased resistance to polymyxin B under acidic growth conditions Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 20(11):1421-1430 [doi:10.1094/MPMI-20-11-1421]17977153
2007Medeot, D.B., Sohlenkamp, Christian, Geiger, Otto, García, M.B., López Lara, Isabel María (2007) Phosphatidycholine fuction in rhizobial strains nodulating peanut: genes and enzymatic activites BIOCELL 31():134-
2006Reeve, Wayne G., Brau, Lambert, Castelli, Joanne, Garau, Giovanni, Sohlenkamp, Christian, Geiger, Otto, Dilworth, Michael J., Glenn, Andrew R., Howieson, John G., Tiwaril, Ravi P. (2006) The Sinorhizobium medicae WSM419 IpiA gene is transcriptionally activated by FsrR and required to enhance survival in lethal acid conditions MICROBIOLOGY-SGM 152(10):3049-3059 [doi:10.1099/mic.0.28764-0]17005985
2006López Lara, Isabel María, Sohlenkamp, Christian, Geiger, Otto (2006) The post-genomic era - What comes next? Revista latinoamericana de microbiología 48(1):44-4517357573
2006Geiger, Otto, Sohlenkamp, Christian, López Lara, Isabel María (2006) Function of rhizobial membrane lipids for the symbiosis with legumes Proceedings of the 12th International Congress on Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 5():132-137
2005Rojas-Jimenez, K., Sohlenkamp, Christian, Geiger, Otto, Martínez Romero, María Esperanza, Werner, D., Vinuesa Fleischmann, Pablo (2005) A CIC chloride channel homolog and ornithine-containing membrane lipids of Rhizobium tropici CIAT899 are involved in symbiotic efficiency and acid tolerance Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 18(11):1175-1185 [doi:10.1094/MPMI-18-1175]16353552
2005Lopez-Lara, IM, Gao, JL, Soto, MJ, Solares-Perez, A, Weissenmayer, B, Sohlenkamp, C, Verroios, GP, Thomas-Oates, J, Geiger, O (2005) Phosphorus-free membrane lipids of Sinorhizobium meliloti are not required for the symbiosis with alfalfa but contribute to increased cell yields under phosphorus-limiting conditions of growth Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 18(9):973-982 [doi:10.1094/MPMI-18-0973]16167767
2004Geiger, O, Sohlenkamp, C, Martinez-Morales, F, Gao, JL, Zavaleta-Pastor, M, Lopez-Lara, IM (2004) Regulation of membrane lipid biosynthesis in eubacteria FASEB JOURNAL 18(8, S):3-3
2004Sohlenkamp, C, de Rudder, KEE, Geiger, O (2004) Phosphatidylethanolamine is not essential for growth of Sinorhizobium meliloti on complex culture media Journal Of Bacteriology 186(6):1667-1677 [doi:10.1128/JB.186.6.1667-1677.2004]14996797
2003Lopez-Lara, IM, Sohlenkamp, C, Geiger, O (2003) Membrane lipids in plant-associated bacteria: Their biosyntheses and possible functions Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 16(7):567-579 [doi:10.1094/MPMI.2003.16.7.567]12848422
2003Sohlenkamp, C, Lopez-Lara, IM, Geiger, O (2003) Biosynthesis of phosphatidylcholine in bacteria Progress In Lipid Research 42(2):115-162 [doi:10.1016/S0163-7827(02)00050-4]12547654
2002Sohlenkamp, C, Wood, CC, Roeb, GW, Udvardi, MK (2002) Characterization of Arabidopsis AtAMT2, a high-affinity ammonium transporter of the plasma membrane Plant Physiology 130(4):1788-1796 [doi:10.1104/pp.008599]12481062
2000Sohlenkamp, C, de Rudder, KEE, Rohrs, V, Lopez-Lara, IM, Geiger, O (2000) Cloning and characterization of the gene for phosphatidylcholine synthase Journal Of Biological Chemistry 275(25):18919-18925 [doi:10.1074/jbc.M000844200]10858449
2000Sohlenkamp, C, Shelden, M, Howitt, S, Udvardi, M (2000) Characterization of Arabidopsis AtAMT2, a novel ammonium transporter in plants FEBS LETTERS 467(2-3):273-278 [doi:10.1016/S0014-5793(00)01153-4]10675553
1999de Rudder, KEE, Sohlenkamp, C, Geiger, O (1999) Plant-exuded choline is used for rhizobial membrane lipid biosynthesis by phosphatidylcholine synthase Journal Of Biological Chemistry 274(28):20011-20016 [doi:10.1074/jbc.274.28.20011]10391951