Skip to Navigation
Oregon State University Skip to main content

Oregon State University

person wearing hard hat in research forest

In OSU’s College of Forestry — ranked No. 1 in the U.S. — students gain hands-on experience in Oregon’s living laboratory.

Your path starts here

Oregon State University was founded more than 150 years ago as a land grant institution, building on the idea that everybody deserves an extraordinary education that’s attainable and accessible. Here you can determine your purpose, shape your identity and values and become who you want to be.

#1

College town on the West Coast

Top 10

for 10 years in a row in online education

#1

Most innovative university in the Pacific Northwest

Our Locations

aerial of Corvallis campus that features brick buildings and a central lawn quad

Oregon State’s beautiful, historic and state-of-the-art campus is located in one of America’s best college towns. Nestled in the heart of the Willamette Valley, Corvallis offers miles of mountain biking and hiking trails, a river perfect for boating or kayaking and an eclectic downtown featuring local cuisine, popular events and performances.

Corvallis Virtual Tour

exterior of building with floor to ceiling windows banked by trees and mist

Oregon State’s Bend campus, located in the stunning high desert of Central Oregon, offers more than 20 majors, small classes and a vast natural laboratory. Nearby, endless outdoor recreation options await — including skiing, snowshoeing, rock climbing, paddle boarding and more.

OSU-Cascades Virtual Tour

person holding a laptop wearing a blue vest and shirt standing in front of fir trees

Oregon State Ecampus blends 21st century innovation with 150+ years of institutional excellence to give people everywhere access to a life-changing education online. Everything we do is designed to help Oregon State students:

  • Make an impact in their communities and beyond
  • Feel supported from start to finish in their journey
  • Build connections with OSU’s world-class faculty
  • Enter the workforce with the skills they need to succeed
stretch of green pine trees in with a snowy mountain

With operations in all 36 counties and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Oregon State University is a trusted partner serving Oregonians statewide. The OSU Extension Service delivers research-based knowledge and education that strengthen communities and economies, sustain natural resources and promote healthy people and families. The 11 Agricultural Experiment Stations at 14 locations address critical issues across landscapes, oceans and food systems. The Forest Research Laboratory manages 10 research forests and develops innovative approaches for managing forest resources and ecosystems.

people walking with buckets near sandy stretch of beach

At Oregon State’s coastal research center in Newport, you can dip your toes in the Pacific Ocean — and pursue hands-on, experiential learning through classes, research and internships aimed at developing solutions to pressing environmental issues.

people sitting in a lobby with a large screen with the Oregon State University logo

The OSU Portland Center is a premier event, meeting and conference venue for showcasing Oregon State programs, initiatives, research and exhibitions. OSU also offers a hybrid MBA and pharmacy programs, professional development courses and a variety of Extension programs in Portland.

Oregon's best public research university

With nearly 200 degree programs Oregon State has a path to the career and future you always wanted. 

As Oregon’s largest university, we draw people from all 50 states and more than 100 countries to a welcoming community that supports success, well-being and belonging for all. We are constantly learning, innovating and applying new skills to make the world better. You can too.

3 people in white lab coats inspecting a vial in red light

Discover the people and stories of Oregon State

Research in the Arp Lab

Nitrification

Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria are participants in both the C and N cycles and together carry out the process of nitrification. Nitrification can influence both biogeochemical cycles through its effect on N availability to organisms. Nitrification influences the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by production of NO and N2O and by influencing consumption of CO2. Most molecular investigations of these bacteria have focused on single genes and enzymes involved in the oxidation of ammonia or nitrite. However, with the sequencing of the genomes of representative nitrifiers, it is possible to examine the entire complement of genes involved in assimilating CO2 and oxidizing NH3 or NO2- and the coordination of their expression. We are exploiting the whole genome sequence information of Nitrosomonas europaea using genomic technology to understand its genetic structure and molecular regulatory mechanisms. The availability of complete genome sequences for Nitrosomonas europaea and Nitrobacter winogradskyi has enabled new approaches to studying interactions between the ammonia oxidizing bacteria and nitrite oxidizing bacteria. We are examining the interactions between these two bacteria.

We are generating selected knockout mutants in N. europaea through homologous recombination to further define regulatory networks and metabolic pathways. The research will contribute to our basic understanding of microbial physiology, especially as it applies to the basis of lithotrophy and autotrophy, and will also be relevant to efforts to mitigate the detrimental effects of these bacteria (e.g. in croplands fertilized with ammonia-based fertilizers) and to exploit their beneficial capabilities (e.g. wastewater treatment and bioremediation).

Alkane metabolism

Gaseous and liquid alkanes can serve as growth substrates for several bacteria. Alkane monooxygenases initiate the metabolism of alkanes by catalyzing the oxidation of the alkanes to alcohols. Alkane metabolism and the corresponding monooxygenases can conveniently be divided into three groups based on the number of carbon atoms in the alkane substrates: C1, C2-C5, and C6-C20. The C1 utilizers are the methanotrophs and their monooxygenases are of two types: soluble and particulate methane monooxygenases. For longer chain, liquid alkanes (C6-C20) a membrane associated diiron-oxo monooxygenase is well studied. For the gaseous, short-chain alkanes (C2-C5) the emerging view from our research is that a soluble diiron-containing butane monooxygenase functions in Pseudomonas butanovora while a particulate, Cu-containing enzyme functions in Nocardioides sp. strain CF8. The goal of this research is to further characterize butane metabolism in P. butanovora and to study the regulation of this inducible pathway.

We are characterizing the diiron containing butane monooxygenase from Pseudomonas butanovora. The physical and kinetic characteristics of the protein components are being determined and site specific and random amino acid substitutions are being introduced to interrogate the basis of alkane specificity with particular emphasis on the inability to oxidize methane. We are also evaluating the induction patterns of the operons in in the metabolism of butane in response to metabolites as well as to putative σ54-dependent transcriptional activators via the use of promoter-reporter gene fusions.

This work will provide the detailed molecular description of a pathway of gaseous alkane metabolism (other than methane). Our focus is on butane metabolism, but we expect that the same pathway is utilized for ethane, propane and pentane (also gaseous alkanes) and thus the results would generally be applicable to the group of short chain alkanes. Our long-range plans, outside the scope of this work, are to continue to develop our knowledge of butane metabolism through examination of other butane oxidizing bacteria, determining the role of gaseous alkane utilizing bacteria in bioremediation, and completing detailed physical (spectroscopic and structural) and kinetic examinations of the purified enzymes.