Dr. Jarrod Erbe
Professor of Biology
Dean, College of Arts & Sciences


  • B.S., Northland College biology major, chemistry minor
  • Ph.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham biochemistry and molecular genetics
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center

Research Interests

One of my research interests is the use of microorganisms for the detection and quantization of phosphorus in environmental samples. As a member of the Phosphorus Research Group at WLC, I hope to develop microbial phosphate biosensors that will result in a standardized, environmentally friendly alternative for the determination of phosphate concentration in soil samples.

I am also interested in determining the types of microbes that form specific biomes. I am currently using ribosomal RNA and other target gene sequences to identify the various species present in the biome associated with an engineered wetland wastewater treatment system.  

Current Courses


Recent Abstracts

Haley, Kimberly A., Glaeske, Kevin W., Erbe, Jarrod L., and Mundt, Andrew A. Sulfonamides: A very Interdisciplinary Class of Molecules. Abstracts of the 238th American Chemical Society national meeting (2009).

Kroken, A.R., Ebeling, D.D., Erbe, J.L. Construction and Characterization of a Phosphate Biosensor. Abstracts of the 107th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology (2007).

Markham, A., Balza, J., Mellon, T., and Erbe, J. Initial Characterization of Nitrifying Microorganisms in an Engineered Wetland Wastewater Treatment System: An Active Learning Approach to the Nitrogen Cycle. Abstracts of the 105th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology (2005). 

Tinker, J., Erbe, J.L. and Holmes, R.K. Novel Methods to Make Cholera Toxin-like Chimeras as Vaccines and Molecular Reagents. Abstracts of the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (2003). 

Tinker, J., Erbe, J.L., Hol, W. and Holmes, R.K. Analysis of hydrophobic residues important for assembly of cholera holotoxin in vivo and in vitro. Abstracts of the 102nd General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology (2001). 

Erbe, J.L. and Finkel, S.E. Use of Long-Term E. coli Cultures to Study Generation of Genetic Diversity and Teach General Microbiology Skills. Abstracts of the 101st General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology (2000). 

Erbe, J.L., Jobling, M.G., Erbe, C.B., Briles, D.E. and Holmes, R.K. Construction and evaluation of a PspA-cholera toxin chimera as a candidate vaccine against pneumococcal pneumonia. Abstracts of the 99th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology (1999). 

Published Papers

Tinker, J.K., Erbe, J. and Holmes, R.K. 2005. Characterization of Fluorescent Chimeras of Cholera Toxin and Escherichia coli Heat-Labile Enterotoxins Produced by Use of the Twin Arginine-Translocation System. Infection and Immunity. 73:3627-3635. 

Petrie, A., Finkel, S. and Erbe, J. 2005. Use of Long-Term E. coli Cultures to Study Generation of Genetic Diversity and Teach General Microbiology Skills. American Biology Teacher. 67:87-92. 

Li, X., Erbe, J.L., Lockatelli, C.V., Johnson, D.E., Jobling, M.G., Holmes, R.K., and Mobley, H.T. 2004. Use of a Translational Fusion of the mrpH Fimbrial Adhesin Binding Domain with Cholera Toxin A2 Domain, Coexpressed with Cholera Toxin B subunit, as an Intranasal Vaccine to Prevent Experimental Urinary Tract Infection by Proteus mirabilis. Infection and Immunity. 72:7306-7310.

Tinker, J.K., Erbe, J.L., and Holmes, R.K. 2003. Cholera Holotoxin Assembly Requires a Hydrophobic A-B5 Interface: Mutational Analysis and Development of an in vitro Assembly System. Infection and Immunity. 71:4093-4101. 

Siekierke, J.G. and Erbe, J.L. 2003. Restriction Analysis of Subclones, in E. coli Plasmid Vectors: Methods and Applications (Casali, N. and Preston, A., eds.) Humana Press, Totowa, NJ, pp. 175-181.

Merritt, E.A., Kuhn, P., Sarfaty, S., Erbe, J.L., Holmes, R.K., and Hol, W.G.J. 1998. 1.25D resolution refinement of the cholera toxin B-pentamer: evidence of peptide backbone strain at the receptor binding site. J. Mol. Biol. 282:1043-1059.

Jobling, M.J., Palmer, L.M., Erbe, J.L., and Holmes, R.K. 1997. Construction and characterization of versatile cloning vectors for delivery of native foreign proteins to the periplasm of Escherichia coli. Plasmid. 38:158-173.

Erbe, J.L., Adams, A.C., Taylor, K.B., and Hall, L.M. 1996. Cyanobacteria carrying an smt-lux transcriptional fusion as biosensors for the detection of heavy metal cations. J. Ind. Microbiol. 17:80-83.

Erbe, J.L., Taylor, K.B., and Hall, L.M. 1996. Expression of mouse metallothionein in the cyanobacterium Synechococcus PCC7942. J. Ind. Microbiol. 17:41-46.

Erbe, Jarrod L., Taylor, Kenneth B., and Hall, Leo M. 1995. Metalloregulation of the cyanobacterial smt locus: identification of SmtB binding sites and direct interaction with metal. Nuc. Acids Res. 23:2472-2478.

Xu, J., Das, A., Erbe, J., Hall, L.M., and Taylor, K.B. 1994. Genetic engineering for productivity in the fermentation of xylose to ethanol. Prepr. Pap. Am. Chem. Soc., Div. Fuel Chem. 38:873-879.