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Dr Dragana Gagic staff profile picture

Contact details +6469517611

Dr Dragana Gagic PhD, MSc

Senior Lecturer in Microbiology

Doctoral Supervisor
School of Fundamental Sciences

Expertise in display technologies and protein-protein interactions, next-generation sequencing (2nd and 3rd generation), bioinformatics. These skills are applied to microbial ecology, probiotics, metagenomics and microbial functional genomics. 

General and enviromental microbiology researcher and PI with independent research programme in microbial ecology, metagenomics, host-microbial interactions and bacteriophage-related technologies. 

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Professional

Contact details

  • Location: C3.19, Science Tower C
    Campus: Manawatu

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy - Massey University (2009)
  • Master of Science with Distinction - University of Canterbury (1999)

Certifications and Registrations

  • Licence, Supervisor, Massey University

Research Expertise

Research Interests

  • Microbial community structure of animal and human microbiota
  • Methanogens and their impact on enteric methane emission
  • Microbiota that is responsible for fibre degradation, propionate production and protein metabolism. Specifically, a focus is on the identification of the involvement of microbes available in culture (Hungate 1000 project)
  • Decoding interactions of segmented filamentous bacteria with the host 

Research Opportunities

  • Microbial community of biofeed for marbling of beef meat  (01/08/2020) Microbiological and genomic characterization of samples of micro-biofeed mixtures used to produce marble beef and isolation of dominant bacteria strains.

Thematics

Health and Well-being, Future Food Systems

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Bacteriology (060501): Biological Sciences (060000): Genetics (060400): Genomics (060408): Microbial Ecology (060504): Microbial Genetics (060503): Microbiology (060500)

Keywords

microbiology, microbial ecology, metagenomics, genomics, phage display, host-microbial interactions 

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 1 1

Research Outputs

Journal

Wang, D., Flint, SH., Gagic, D., Palmer, JS., Fletcher, GC., & On, SLW. (2021). In silico analysis revealing CsrA roles in motility-sessility switching and tuning VBNC cells in Vibrio parahaemolyticus. Biofouling. 37(6), 680-688
[Journal article]Authored by: Flint, S., Gagic, D., Palmer, J.
Mahoney-Kurpe, SC., Palevich, N., Noel, SJ., Kumar, S., Gagic, D., Biggs, PJ., . . . Moon, CD. (2021). Complete genome sequences of three clostridiales R-7 group strains isolated from the bovine rumen in New Zealand. Microbiology Resource Announcements. 10(26)
[Journal article]Authored by: Biggs, P., Gagic, D.
Gagic, D., Ciric, M., Wen, WX., Ng, F., & Rakonjac, J. (2016). Corrigendum to "Exploring the secretomes of microbes and microbial communities using filamentous phage display" [Front. Microbiol. 2016, 7:429. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.00429]. Frontiers in Microbiology. 7(JUN)
[Journal article]Authored by: Gagic, D., Rakonjac, J.
Gagic, D., Ciric, M., Wen, WX., Ng, F., & Rakonjac, J. (2016). Exploring the secretomes of microbes and microbial communities using filamentous phage display. Frontiers in Microbiology. 7(APR)
[Journal article]Authored by: Gagic, D., Rakonjac, J.
Ng, F., Kittelmann, S., Patchett, ML., Attwood, GT., Janssen, PH., Rakonjac, J., . . . Gagic, D. (2016). An adhesin from hydrogen-utilizing rumen methanogen Methanobrevibacter ruminantium M1 binds a broad range of hydrogen-producing microorganisms. Environmental microbiology. 18(9), 3010-3021
[Journal article]Authored by: Gagic, D., Rakonjac, J.
Gagic, D., Maclean, PH., Li, D., Attwood, GT., & Moon, CD. (2015). Improving the genetic representation of rare taxa within complex microbial communities using DNA normalization methods. Molecular Ecology Resources. 15(3), 464-476
[Journal article]Authored by: Gagic, D.
Henderson, G., Cox, F., Ganesh, S., Jonker, A., Young, W., Janssen, PH., . . . Okunade, S. (2015). Rumen microbial community composition varies with diet and host, but a core microbiome is found across a wide geographical range. Scientific Reports. 5
[Journal article]Authored by: Gagic, D.
Henderson, G., Cox, F., Ganesh, S., Jonker, A., Young, W., Janssen, PH., . . . Mizrahi, I. (2015). Erratum: Rumen microbial community composition varies with diet and host, but a core microbiome is found across a wide geographical range. Scientific Reports. 6
[Journal article]Authored by: Gagic, D.
Shi, W., Moon, CD., Leahy, SC., Kang, D., Froula, J., Kittelmann, S., . . . Rubin, EM. (2014). Methane yield phenotypes linked to differential gene expression in the sheep rumen microbiome. Genome Research. 24(9), 1517-1525
[Journal article]Authored by: Gagic, D.
Ciric, M., Moon, CD., Leahy, SC., Creevey, CJ., Altermann, E., Attwood, GT., . . . Gagic, D. (2014). Metasecretome-selective phage display approach for mining the functional potential of a rumen microbial community. BMC Genomics. 15(1)
[Journal article]Authored by: Gagic, D., Rakonjac, J.
Gagic, D., Wen, W., Collett, MA., & Rakonjac, J. (2013). Unique secreted-surface protein complex of Lactobacillus rhamnosus, identified by phage display. MicrobiologyOpen. 2(1), 1-17
[Journal article]Authored by: Gagic, D., Rakonjac, J.
Bennett, NJ., Gagic, D., Sutherland-Smith, AJ., & Rakonjac, J. (2011). Characterization of a dual-function domain that mediates membrane insertion and excision of Ff filamentous bacteriophage. Journal of Molecular Biology. 411(5), 972-985
[Journal article]Authored by: Gagic, D., Rakonjac, J., Sutherland-Smith, A.
Rakonjac, J., Bennett, NJ., Spagnuolo, J., Gagic, D., & Russel, M. (2011). Filamentous bacteriophage: biology, phage display and nanotechnology applications.. Current issues in molecular biology. 13(2), 51-76
[Journal article]Authored by: Gagic, D., Rakonjac, J.
Spagnuolo, J., Opalka, N., Wen, WX., Gagic, D., Chabaud, E., Bellini, P., . . . Rakonjac, J. (2010). Identification of the gate regions in the primary structure of the secretin pIV. Molecular Microbiology. 76(1), 133-150
[Journal article]Authored by: Gagic, D., Rakonjac, J.
Jankovic, D., Collett, MA., Lubbers, MW., & Rakonjac, J. (2007). Direct selection and phage display of a Gram-positive secretome. Genome Biology. 8(R266)
[Journal article]Authored by: Gagic, D., Rakonjac, J.
Savill, MG., Hudson, JA., Ball, A., Klena, JD., Scholes, P., Whyte, RJ., . . . Gagic, D. (2001). Enumeration of Campylobacter in New Zealand recreational and drinking waters. Journal of Applied Microbiology. , 38-46
[Journal article]Authored by: Gagic, D.

Book

Ciric, M., Ng, F., Rakonjac, J., & Gagic, D. (2018). Metasecretome phage display. In Methods in Molecular Biology. (pp. 519 - 534).
[Chapter]Authored by: Gagic, D., Rakonjac, J.

Report

Gagic, D., Schmid, J., & Zhang, N.(2020). Biofeed microbiome analysis 2020.
[Technical Report]Authored by: Gagic, D.
Gagic, D., Schmid, J., & Zhang, N.(2019). Microbial community analysis of biofeed samples.
[Technical Report]Authored by: Gagic, D.

Conference

Payling, L., Gagic, D., McNabb, W., Roy, N., Fraser, K., Simms, I., . . . Loveday, S. (2021, April). The production of hydrogen sulfide by the human gut microbiota. Presented at Riddet Institute Colloquium. Massey University, Palmerston North.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Gagic, D., McNabb, W.
Lim, W., Gagic, D., Moon, C., & Crouzet, L. (2020). Isolation and characterisation of Faecalibacterium from New Zealand calves. Poster session presented at the meeting of New Zealand Microbiological Society Conference. Online
[Conference Poster]Authored by: Gagic, D.Contributed to by: Gagic, D.
Huang, Y., Gagic, D., Flint, S., & Palmer, J. (2020). The effect of biofilm on spore and toxin production for Bacillus cereus. Poster session presented at the meeting of New Zealand Microbiological Society Conference. Online
[Conference Poster]Authored by: Flint, S., Gagic, D., Palmer, J.Contributed to by: Gagic, D.
Mahoney-Kurpe, S., Gagic, D., Moon, C., Attwood, G., Pope, P., Palevich, N., . . . Biggs, P. (2020). Unravelling the regulation of vitamin B12-induced propionate production in a ruminal Prevotella strain. Poster session presented at the meeting of New Zealand Microbiological society conference. Online
[Conference Poster]Authored by: Biggs, P., Gagic, D.Contributed to by: Gagic, D.
Gagic, D., Tu, Y-H., Norris, G., Pattchet, M., Rakonjac, J., Ahn, M., . . . Loo, T. (2020, February). The use of natural products in the leather industry: Depilation without damage. Presented at 25th Annual Lorne Proteomics Symposium. Lorne; Australia.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Gagic, D., Rakonjac, J.Contributed to by: Gagic, D.
Tu, Y-H., Patchett, M., Norris, G., Naffa, R., Ahn, M., Rakonjac, J., . . . Gagic, D.The use of natural products in the leather industry: Depilation without damage. Paper presented at the meeting of 35th IULTCS Congress. Dresden, Germany
[Conference Paper]Authored by: Gagic, D., Rakonjac, J.Contributed to by: Gagic, D.
Tu, Y-H., Gagic, D., Norris, G., Patchett, M., Rakonjac, J., Naffa, R., . . . Ahn, M. (2019). The use of natural products in the leather industry: Depilation without damage. Poster session presented at the meeting of International Union of Leather Technologists and Chemists Societies Congress. Dresden, Germany
[Conference Poster]Authored by: Gagic, D., Rakonjac, J.Contributed to by: Gagic, D.
Huang, Y., Flint, S., & Palmer, J. (2019). Biofilms, Sporulation and Toxin Genes Profiling. Poster session presented at the meeting of New Zealand Microbiological Society Conference. Convention Centre, Palmerston North
[Conference Poster]Authored by: Flint, S., Palmer, J.Contributed to by: Gagic, D.
Mahoney-Kurpe, S., Gagic, D., Moon, C., Attwood, G., Biggs, P., Koike, S., . . . Palevich, N. (2019). Rumen isolates of the Christensenellaceae R-7 group are able to utilise hemicellulose and produce hydrogen and ethanol as major end-products. Poster session presented at the meeting of . New Zealand Microbiological Society conference. Convention Centre, Palmerston North
[Conference Poster]Authored by: Biggs, P., Gagic, D.
Bresciano, J., Gagic, D., Robertson, A., Pattemore, D., & Clavijo-McCormick, A. (2019, June). Metabarcoding and genomic insights into manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) nectar microorganisms. Presented at Empowering agricultural research through metagenomics. Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Gagic, D., Robertson, A.Contributed to by: Gagic, D.
Tu, Y., Ahn, M., Patchett, ML., Naffa, R., Gagic, D., & Norris, GE.The use of natural products in the leather industry: Depilation without damage. 35th IULTCS Congress 2019: "Benign by Design" Leather - The Future Through Science and Technology.
[Conference]Authored by: Gagic, D.
Bresciano, J., Gagic, D., Robertson, A., Pattemore, D., & Clavijo-McCormick, A. (2018). The nectar-microbial loop in Manuka plants: microbial composition and its effect on biological interactions. Poster session presented at the meeting of Omic approaches in biofilm research: advances in ecology and ecotoxicology. University of Gothenburg, Sweden
[Conference Poster]Authored by: Gagic, D., Robertson, A.Contributed to by: Gagic, D.
Tu, Y-H., Gagic, D., Patchett, M., Norris, G., Rakonjac, J., Ahn, M., . . . Naffa, R. (2018). The use of natural products in the leather industry: Depilation without damage. Poster session presented at the meeting of Microbes and Molecules conference. Dunedin, New Zealand
[Conference Poster]Authored by: Gagic, D., Rakonjac, J.Contributed to by: Gagic, D.
Tu, Y-H., Gagic, D., Norris, G., Patchett, M., Rakonjac, J., Naffa, R., . . . Ahn, M. (2018). The use of natural products in the leather industry: Depilation without damage. Poster session presented at the meeting of ComBio conference. Sidney, Australia
[Conference Poster]Authored by: Gagic, D., Rakonjac, J.Contributed to by: Gagic, D.
Bresciano, J., Gagic, D., Pattemore, D., Robertson, A., & Clavijo-McCormick, A. (2018, November). The nectar-microbial loop in Mānuka plants: microbial composition and its effect on DHA production. Presented at New Zealand Ecological Society conference. Wellington.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Gagic, D., Robertson, A.Contributed to by: Gagic, D.
Moon, CD., Gagic, D., Ciric, M., Noel, S., Summers, EL., Li, D., . . . Attwood, GT. (2014). Exploring rumen microbe-derived fibre degrading activities for improving feed digestibility. In J. Roche (Ed.) Proceedings of the 5th Australasian Dairy Science Symposium 2014. (pp. 377 - 379). : Australasian Dairy Science Symposium 2014
[Conference Paper in Published Proceedings]Authored by: Gagic, D., Rakonjac, J.

Consultancy and Languages

Consultancy

  • December 2017 - Current - Pure Nature Pasture Ltd
    Training of PNP staff in microbiology techniques and leading microbiome studies related to animal feed

Languages

  • Serbian/Croatian/Bosnian
    Last used: current
    Spoken ability: Excellent
    Written ability: Excellent

Teaching and Supervision

Teaching Statement

My primary goal as an educator is to create a classroom environment in which students can achieve their potential and learn to think as scientist.

The traditional lecture is an important component of any of my classes. I usually introduce “in lecture questions” which help focus students’ attention and boost the lecture attendance. I believe that these questions solidify acquired knowledge of previous topic and give students a good introduction into the subsequent topic. 

One of my prerogatives in undergraduate teaching is to enable students to experience a setting that corresponds to “real-life” situation in science jobs. To achieve this, I have designed project-based laboratory for the Environmental Microbiology (162.304) students. They are only given samples, starting literature and final questions to answer in the form of a report. Students are in charge of planning the experiments, time management, choosing appropriate methods and equipment, and participating in the teamwork. In student evaluations for the past two years, multiple students wrote that lab project stood out as one of the most memorable and effective.

 

Courses Coordinated

Graduate Supervision Statement

I have closely mentored >15 postgraduate students. The very first thing that I try to encourage them to do is to question everything, and I strive to do the same. Asking questions hinting at the limitations of a study can help a student logically deduce the next step in refining it. My expectations of all postgraduate students are that they engage in rigorous literature reviewing and integration of the acquired knowledge into their research project, as required, throughout the study programme. This process teaches students to critically review the relevant articles and help with modifying their original hypotheses, if appropriate. As a postgraduate supervisor, my practice is to have an open door policy and weekly meetings, and monthly meetings with all co-supervisors.

Besides thinking as a scientist, postgraduate students should be introduced to important components of a science job beyond the bench, such as grant and manuscript writing, budget management, and conference presentations. My students are encouraged to apply for scholarships, travel funds and awards as a practice for grant proposal writing. To practise budget management students are given estimated budget for each year and expected to monitor the consumables expenditure. Another important aspect of scientific career is publishing. I encourage each PhD student to publish three peer-reviewed journal articles (one literature mini-review in the first year of study and two original research articles from results of the doctorate) and present their work at national and international conferences.

 


Dr Dragana Gagic is available for Masters and Doctorial supervision.

Summary of Doctoral Supervision

Position Current Completed
Main Supervisor 0 1
Co-supervisor 5 2

Current Doctoral Supervision

Co-supervisor of:

  • Dan Wang - Doctor of Philosophy
    Biofilm Formation Mechanisms of Vibrio Parahaemolyticus Isolated from New Zealand Seafood Products
  • Yiying Huang - Doctor of Philosophy
    The spore formation and toxin production in biofilms of Bacillus cereus
  • Laura Payling - Doctor of Philosophy
    The links between dietary fibre, human breath methane, and the gut microbiome
  • Jorge Bresciano Kauffman - Doctor of Philosophy
    The role of floral microorganisms in plant-pollinator interactions

Completed Doctoral Supervision

Main Supervisor of:

  • 2017 - Filomena Ng - Doctor of Philosophy
    Identification and functional characterization of adhesins involved in attachment of methanogens to rumen protozoa

Co-supervisor of:

  • 2021 - Yi-Hsuan Tu - Doctor of Philosophy
    A novel and environmentally friendly method for preserving and depilating sheepskin: Comprehensive physical, biochemical and molecular analyses
  • 2018 - Sandeep Kumar - Doctor of Philosophy
    Physiology of rumen bacteria associated with low methane emitting sheep