Prof. David Gutnick

Emeritus in Biotechnology
מקרוביולוגיה מולקולרית אמריטוס
Prof. David Gutnick
Phone: 03-6409834
Fax: 03-6409649
Office: Green - Biotechnology, 007


Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Prof. David Gutnick immigrated to Israel in October 1969 after completing his PhD in Microbiology at the University of Southern California-Los Angeles and working two years for the U.S. Public Health Service,  He first began teaching at TAU in 1969, becoming a full professor in 1981.  He served in the IDF from 1973-1974 and is married with two children.




1961 B.Sc. University of California, Davis, Food Science and Technology

1963 M.Sc. University of California, Davis, Food Science and Technology

1967 Ph.D. University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Microbiology, Prof. Arnold Brodie, Thesis Title: “Tritium Incorporation Into A Napthtoquinone and Its Relationship to Oxidative Phosphorylation

1967-1969 Post Doctoral Training, NIH, Bethesda, MD., Lab. of Molecular Biology, Molecular Biology, Microbial Genetics, Prof. Bruce Ames, Advisor.


Academic Appointments:

1967-1969 Senior Scientist, U.S. Public Health Service, NIH

1969-1975 Senior Lecturer, Dept. Microbiology, Tel-Aviv University

1976-1981 Associate Professor, Dept. Microbiology, Tel-Aviv University

1981-Present Full Professor, Dept. Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology, Tel-Aviv University


Other Experience:

1972 EMBO Fellow, Dept. of Biochemistry, University of Amsterdam

1974-1975 Visiting Senior Scientist, Roche Institute of Technology, Nutley, New Jersey, H.R. Kaback, Host

1975 Invited Consultant, Bioenergetics, Boston Biomedical Research Laboratories, Boston, MA.

1983 Professor Dept. Biotechnology, Tel-Aviv University

1981-1982 Visiting Scientist and Director Biological R&D, Petroferm USA, Amelia Island, Fl.

1983-1992 Member of Scientific Board, Petroferm USA

1988-1989 Visiting Fogarty Scientist, Section on Microbial Genetics, Lab. of Molecular Biology, NCI, NIH, Bethesda, MD. Dr. Susan Gottesman host.

1991 Invited Expert in Environmental Biotechnology and Bioremediation, Transport Canada, Montreal, Quebec

1991 Visiting Scientist, Section on Biochemical Genetics, Lab. of Molecular Biology, NCI

1996 Visiting Professor ,Graduate School of Applied Science and Technology, Dept. of Environmental Science, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel

2000 Distinguished Erskine Professor, Faculty of Biology, Canterbury University, Christchurch, New Zealand

2000-2001 Visiting Professor, Dept. of Biology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, Prof. John Roth, host.

2000 and 2001 Visiting Consultant, Petrobras, Brazil Natl. Oil Company and Visiting Professor, National University of Ceara, Fortaleza, Brazil

2003-Present Adjunct Professor of Biology, San Francisco State University


Visiting Professorships and Special Lectureships:

1974 University of Amsterdam

1978 University of Chicago

1979 M.I.T.

1985 Victor Cape Lecture, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec

1988 Distinguished Lecture Series, Petroleum Microbiology, National Institute of Biotechnology, Cuernevaca, Mexico

1989 Invited Plenary Lecture, Canadian Society of Microbiology, Lake Louise, Alberta

1989 Lecture Series, Bioremediation, Institute for Marine Biology, Helgoland, Germany

1991 Plenary Lecture, Canmet, Canadian Bureau of Mines, Calgary, Alberta

1992 Invited Guest Lecturer of State of Niedersachsen, Goettingen University, Braunscweig University

1993, 1994 Distinguished Visiting Professor, Dept. of Chemistry, Tribhuvan University of Nepal, Kathmandu, Nepal

1994, 1995, 1996 Guest Scientist, Dept. of Biology, Broohaven National Laboratories, Upton, New York

1994 Keynote Speaker, Italian Society of Microbiology, Montesilvano, Italy

1995 Keynote Speaker, National Symposium Petroleum Microbiology, Madrid, Spain

1996 Distinguished Lecturer, National Academy of Sciences of Kazakhstan, Almaty, Kazakhstan

2002, 2003 Invited Lecturer and Consultant Chinese National Petroleum University Network and Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, Wuhan, Fuchin, Shanghai


National and International Consultancies and Advisory Panels:

1980-1984 Israel American Binational Science Foundation, Microbiology

1986 National Committee for Biotechnology, Israel.

1988 Scientific Advisory Board National Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Cuernevaca, Mexico

1978, 1992-1993 Israel Academy of Sciences Fund for Basic Research
Israel Academy of Sciences, Chairman, Biochemistry Panel

1987 Workshop Leader and Member Policy Agenda Committee, U.N. Institute of Biotechnology for Developing Countries, Trieste, Italy

1990-1998 Israel -German Advisory Committee on Biotechnology

1993-1998 Chairman

1995-1996 Member Ad-Hoc Committee, National Council for Higher Education

1994-Present Israel Academy of Sciences, National Committee on Microbiology

1994 Elected Member of European Environmental Research Organization

1997 Special Consultant to Bar Ian University on Transforming the Department into a Faculty

1996-2001 President of the Committee on Marine Microbiology, Biochemistry and Biotechnology, International Commission for Scientific Exploration of the Mediterranean

2001 Feasibility Study Group, Marine Biotechnology, Marine Board, Sardinia, Italy

2003-Present Chairman Committee to Validate the Granting of BSc degrees in Biotechnology, Chemical Engineering, Materials Engineering by Colleges, Israel Council for Higher Education



Professional Affiliations:

  Elected Member American Academy of Microbiology; Israel Society of Microbiology; American Society of Microbiology; European Environmental Research Organization; CIESM - Commission Internationale pour l’Exploration Scientifique de la mer Mediterranee
Israel Society of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry


Editorial Board:

  Research in Microbiology; Biorecovery; J. Bioenergetics


Research Interests

My research interests are:

  • Microbial biopolymers
  • Environmental biotechnology
  • Cell-cell signaling and pattern formation in bacteria.


Recent Publications

Gutnick, D.L. and A.F. Brodie. l965. Phosphate dependent incorporation of tritium into a naphthoquinone during oxidative phosphorylation. J. Biol. Chem. 240 : 3698.


Gutnick, D.L., P.J. Dunphy, H. Sakamoto, P.G. Phillips and A.F. Brodie. 1965. Cis trans isomerism in naphthoquinone interconversion and participation in oxidative phosphorylation. Science l58: l469.


Gutnick, D.L., J.M. Calvo, T. Klopotowski and B.N. Ames. l969. Compounds which serve as the sole source of carbon or nitrogen for Salmonella typhimurium LT 2. J. Bacteriol. l00: 2l5.


Kanner, B.I. and D.L. Gutnick. l972. Use of neomycin in the isolation of mutants blocked in energy conservation in Escherichia coli. J. Bacteriol. lll: 287 289.


Gutnick, D.L., B.I. Kanner and P.W. Postma. l972. Oxidative phosphorylation in mutants of Escherichia coli defective in energy transduction. Biochim. Biophys. Acta. 283: 2l7-222.


Reisfeld, A., E. Rosenberg and D.L. Gutnick. l972. Microbial degradation of crude oil: Factors affecting the dispersion in sea water by mixed and pure cultures. App. Microbiol. 24: 363-368.  


Or, A., B.I. Kanner and D.L. Gutnick. l973. Active transport in mutants of Escherichia coli with alterations in the membrane ATPase complex. FEBS Lett. 35: 2l7-220.


Nelson, N., B. Kanner and D.L. Gutnick. l974. Purification and properties of adenosine triphosphates from Escherichia coli. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 7l: 2720.


Gutnick, D.L. and E. Rosenberg. l977. Oil tankers and pollution: A microbiological approach. Ann. Rev. Microbiol. 3l: 279-296.


Rosenberg, M., D.L. Gutnick and E. Rosenberg. l980. Adherence of bacteria to hydrocarbons: A simple method for measuring cell surface hydrophobicity. FEMS Microbiol. Lett. 9: 29-33. (most cited paper in the history of the journal)


Rosenberg, M., E. Rosenberg and D.L. Gutnick. l980. Bacterial adherence to hydrocarbons. pp. 54l 542. In: R.C.W. Berkeley, J.M. Lynch, J. Melling, P.R. Rutter and B. Vincent (eds), Microbial Adhesion to Surfaces. Society of Chemical Industry, London.

Pines, O., E.A. Bayer and D.L. Gutnick. l983. Localization of emulsan like polymers associated with the cell surface of Acinetobacter calcoaceticus. J. Bacteriol. l54: 893-905.


Pines, O. and D.L. Gutnick. l984. Specific binding of a bacteriophage at a hydrocarbon water interface. J. Bacteriol. l57: l79-l83.


Shabtai, Y. and D.L. Gutnick. l985. Exocellular esterase and emulsan release from the cell surface of Acinetobacter calcoaceticus RAG l. J. Bacteriol. 161: 1176-1181. 


Gutnick, D.L. 1987. The emulsan polymer Perspectives on a microbial capsule as an industrial product. Biopolymers. S.26: 223-240.

Reddy, P.G., R. Allon, M. Mevarech, S. Mendelovitz, K. Sato and D. L. Gutnick. 1989. Cloning and expression in Escherichia coli of an esterase gene from the oil degrading bacterium Acinetobacter calcoaceticus RAG 1. 1989. Gene 76: 145-152.

Stout, V., A. Torres Cabassa, M.R. Maurizi, D. Gutnick, and S. Gottesman. 1991. RcsA, an unstable positive regulator of capsular polysaccharide synthesis. J. Bacteriol. 173: 1738-1747.  

Gutnick, D. 1992. Bioremediation of Oil Pollution. Transportation Development Center, Montreal (103 pp.).

Gutnick, D. 1996. Scientific and technological issues leading to the application of microbial cells and products with heavy metals in pollution remediation. Research in Microbiology 147, 513-587.

Ophir, T. and Gutnick, D.L. 1994. A role for exopolysaccharides n the protection of microorganisms from desiccation. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 60:740-745.

Gutnick, D.L., 1995. Scientific and technological issues leading to the practical application of bioremediation and environmnetal biotechnology. Research in Microbiology, 115:39-81.

Gutnick, D.L. 1995. Microbial treatment of contaminated storage containers. Research in Microbiology. 145: 56-60.

Gutnick, D.L. 1997. Use of Microorganisms in the Treatment of Heavy Metal Pollution. Proceedings of the EERO Workshop and Summary Forum. Research in Microbiology 148, 502-551.

Meller-Harel, Y., Argaman, A., Ben-Bashat, D., Navon, G., Aharonowitz, Y, and Gutnick, D.L. 1997. A polyphosphate inhibitor of polygalacturonase from Botrytis cinerea. Can. J. Microbiology. 43, 835-840

Ben-Jacob, E., Cohen, I., and Gutnick, D.L. 1998. Cooperative organization of bacterial colonies: from genotype to morphotype. Ann. Rev. Microbiology 52, 779-806.

Tcherpakov, M., Ben-Jacob, E. and Gutnick, D.L. 1999. Paenibacillus dendritiformis sp. nov., proposal for a new pattern-forming species and its localization within a phylogenetic cluster. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol., 49, 239-246.

Ben-Jacob E., Cohen, I., Czirok, A., Vicsek, T., and Gutnick, D.L. 1997. Chemomodulation of cellular movement, collective formation of vortices by swarming bacteria, and colonial development. Physica A. 238, 181-197.

Ben-Jacob, E., Cohen, I., and Gutnick, D.L. 1998. Cooperative organization of bacterial colonies: from genotype to morphotype. Ann. Rev. Microbiology 52, 779-806.

Ben-Jacob, E., Cohen, I., Golding, I., Gutnick, D.L., Tcherpakov, M., Hebling, D. and Ron, I.G. 2000. Bacterial coooperative organization under antibiotic stress. Physica A. 247-282

Gutnick, D. and Bach, H. 2000. Engineering bacterial biopolymers for the biosorption of heavy metals; new products and novel formulations. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 54, 451-460.

Nakar, D. and Gutnick, D.L. 2001. Analysis of the wee cluster responsible for the biosynthesis of the polymeric bioemulsifier from the oil-degrading strain Acinetobacter lwoffii RAG-1. Microbiology. 147, 1937-1946.

Ben-Bashat, D., Meller-Harel, Y., Aharonowitz, Y., Gutnick, D.L., Carmeli, S., and Navon, G. 2001. Excretion of a phosphorous-containing carbohydrate by Streptomyces sp. A50. J. Nat. Prod. 64. 1538-1541.

Bach, H., Mazor, Y., Shaky, S., Shoham-Lev, A., Berdichevsky, Y., Gutnick, D.L., Ben-Har, I. 2001. Eshcherichi coli maltose binding protein as a molecular chaperone for recombinant intracellular cytoplasmic single-chain antibodies. J. Mol. Biol. 312. 4914-4925. 


Bach, H., Y. Berdichevsky and D. Gutnick. 2003. An exocellular protein from the oil-degrading microbe Acinetobacter venetianus RAG-1 enhances the emulsifying activity of the polymeric bioemulsifier emulsan. Appl. and Environ. Microbiol. 69, 2608-2615.

Nakar, D., and D. Gutnick. Involvement of a protein tyrosine kinase in the production of the polymeric bioemulsifier emulsan from the oil-degrading strain Acinetobacter lwoffii RAG-1. 2003. J. Bacteriol. 185, 1001-1009.



Chapters in books

A.F. Brodie and D.L. Gutnick. l972. Electron transport and oxidative phosphorylation in microbial systems. In: Treatise on Electron Transport and Coupled Energy Transfer. (T. King and M. Klingenberg, eds), Marcel Dekker, New York.

D.L. Gutnick. l974. A genetic approach to oxidative phosphorylation in bacteria. In: Molecular Aspects of Membrane Phenomena. (H.R. Kaback, et al., eds), Springer Verlag, Berlin.

D.L. Gutnick and D. Fragman. l977. Oxidative phosphorylation in bacteria a genetic approach. In: Horizons in Biochemistry and Biophysics. Vol. 3. (E. Quagliariello et al., eds), Addison Wesley, Mass.

E. Rosenberg and D.L. Gutnick. l979. The hydrocarbon decomposing bacteria. In: The Prokaryotes. A Handbook on Habitats, Isolation, and Identification of Bacteria. (M.P. Starr, et al., eds) Springer Verlag, Berlin.

D.L. Gutnick, Z. Zosim and E. Rosenberg. l982. The interaction of emulsan with hydrocarbons. Petroleum Microbiology and the History of its Role in Enhanced Oil Recovery. (E. Donaldson, ed.) Proceedings of Intl. Conference on Microbial Enhancement of Oil Recovery, Oklahoma. pp. 6 ll.

Gutnick, D.L., M. Rosenberg and E. Rosenberg. l982. Adherence of bacteria to hydrocarbons. (E. Donaldson, ed.), Petroleum Microbiology and the History of its Role in Enhanced Oil Recovery. Proceeds of Intl. Conference on Microbial Enhancement of Oil Recovery, Oklahoma. pp. 20 28.

M. Rosenberg, D.L. Gutnick and E. Rosenberg. l983. Bacterial adherence to hydrocarbons. In: Microbial Enhanced Oil Recovery. (J.E. Zajic, et al., eds), pp. ll4 l23.

Gutnick, D.L. 1990. Prokaryotic symbionts of aphids. In: The Prokaryotes II. A Handbook on Habitats, Isolation and Identification of Bacteria. A. Ballows (ed.).
Springer Verlag, Berlin. Chapter 220a.

Gutnick, D.L. and Ben-Jacob, E. 1999. Complex pattern formation and cooperative organization of bacterial colonies In E. Rosenberg ed. Microbial Ecology and Pathogenicity, ASM Press, Washington, D.C. pp. 284-299.


Varon, M. and Gutnick, D. 2004. In, M. Eisenbach, Ed..Use of chemotaxis systems in cell-cell communication in bacterial systems. In Chemotaxis, Imperial Press, London (Invited Chapter)


H. Bach and Gutnick, D.L. 2004. Potential applications for microbial surfactants in the petroleum industry. in Rafael Vazquez-Duhal, Ed. Petroleum Biotechnology, Developments and Perspectives. Elsevier Press, Amsterdam.

Gutnick, D.L. and Bach, H. 2004. Engineering bacterial polysaccharides for heavy metal binding. In, K. Yarema Ed. Glycochemistry. Marcel Dekker, New York. (Invited Chapter).


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