Daniele Provenzano, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Office: BBRHB 1.125
Phone: (956) 882-5045
Email: daniele.provenzano@utrgv.edu 

Currently Teaching

  • BIOL 4400 - Biological Communication
  • BIOL 6185 - Graduate Research
  • BIOL 4399 - Independent Research


  • Postdoc Harvard Medical School, Boston MA
  • Ph.D. Microbiology, University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio
  • B.S. University of Texas Pan American

Areas of Expertise

  • Microbial Pathogenesis
  • Prokaryotic molecular and cell biology
  • Evolutionary microbiology
  • Environmental marine microbiology
  • Microbial toxicology
  • Regulation of virulence factor expression
  • Interbacterial interactions


The Provenzano laboratory is interested in various life style aspects of human pathogens Vibrio cholerae and Vibrio parahaemolyticus. In collaboration with the Pukatzki laboratory at City College in New York we evaluate intra and interbacterial competition mediated by the Type VI Secretion System (T6SS), a dynamic molecular puncturing device assembled in the cytosol of 25% of all Proteobacteria that delivers effector molecules (toxins) into adjacent cells. We investigate the evolution and physiological function of the T6SS, how it shaped the fate of V. cholerae as a human pathogen throughout pandemics and its role in ecological niches. We are accomplishing this by holistically examining the T6SS of pandemic and V. cholerae strains endemic to the lower Rio Grande Delta. In the process we have identified and are characterizing novel episomal genetic elements isolated from endemic V. cholerae and evaluate genotypes and phenotypes relevant to virulence and ecological adaptations of novel strains. Together with the Turner laboratory at Texas A&M Corpus Christi we investigate the role of a genetic locus reported to mediate V. parahaemolyticus cold shock and virulence. By genetic engineering of adaptive response genes in loss-of-function studies and complementation experiments we are teasing out the contribution of each Open Reading Frame of this locus towards cold resistance and colonization. Furthermore, we examine the role of a temperate bacteriophage in the disappearance of pandemic O3:K6 V. parahaemolyticus from clinical Vibriosis cases in the Pacific Northwest.

Recent Publications

Kostiuk, B., F.J. Santoriello, L. Diaz-Satizabal, F. Bisaro, K.J. Lee, A.N. Dhody, D. Provenzano*, D. Unterweger & S. Pukatzki.  2021.  Type VI Secretion System Mutations Reduced Competitive Fitness of Classical Vibrio cholerae Biotype.  Nature Communications, 12(6457). doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-26847-y

Turner, J.W., J. Duran-Gonzalez, D.A. Laughlin, D. Unterweger, D. Silva, B. Ermolinsky, S. Pukatzki & D. Provenzano*.  2021.  Draft Genome Sequences of 13 Vibrio cholerae Strains from the Rio Grande Delta.  Microbiology Resource Announcements 10(22) doi.org/10.1128/MRA.00308-21

Provenzano, D* & S. Barrocio. 2021.  Infectious Disease Transmission by Airline Travel.  Biomedical Journal of Scientific & Technical Research 35(5): 28074-28081. doi. 10.26717/BJSTR.2021.35.005772

Provenzano, D.*, V. Trevino & B. Ermolinsky. 2018 Bacterial Electrotransformation – An Interface Between Technology and Art IN: Handbook of Electroporation, 73-1. Springer International Publishing AG, 10.1007/978-3-319-26779-1_73-1

Kostiuk, B., D. Unterweger, D. Provenzano S. Pukatzki.  2017 T6SS intraspecific competition orchestrates Vibrio cholerae genotypic diversity.  International Microbiology, 20(3):130-137.  doi:10.2436/20.1501.01.294.

Jia, Y., B. Ermolinsky, A. Garza D. Provenzano.  2017 Phospholipase A2 in the Venom of Three Cottonmouth Snake Species. Toxicon,1;135:84-92. doi: 10.1016/j.toxicon.2017.06.010.

Kirchberger, P., D. Unterweger, D.  Provenzano, S. Pukatzki, Y. Boucher.  2017 Sequential Displacement of Type VI Secretion System Effector Genes Leads to Evolution of Diverse Immunity Gene Arrays in Vibrio cholerae Scientific Reports, 7:45133. doi: 10.1038/srep45133.

Unterweger, D., S.T. Miyata, V. Bachmann, T. M. Brooks, T. Mullins, B. Kostiuk, D. Provenzano* & S. Pukatzki. 2014 The Vibrio cholerae type VI Secretion System Employs Modular Effector Islands for Intraspecific Competition.   Nature Communications, 5(3549) doi:10.1038/ncomms4549

Pukatzki, S. & D. Provenzano*. 2013  Vibrio cholerae as a Predator: Lessons from Evolutionary Principles. Frontiers in Microbiology, 4:384. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2013.00384

Gonzales, M. F., T. Brooks, S. Pukatzki, & D. Provenzano*.  2013  Rapid Protocol for Preparation of Electrocompetent Escherichia coli and Vibrio cholerae Journal of Visualized Experiments, 8:(80) doi: 10.3791/50684

Ermolinsky, B., M. Peredelchuk & D. Provenzano*.  2013 α-Cyclodextrin Decreases Cholera Toxin binding to GM1-gangliosides. Journal of Medical Microbiology, 62:1011-1014

Cooley, B.J., T.W. Thatcher, S.M. Hashmi, G. L’Her, H.H. Le, D.A. Hurwitz, D. Provenzano, A. Touhami, & V.D. Gordon.  2013 The Extracellular Polysacchardie Pel Makes the Attachment of Pseudomonas aeruginosa to Glass Surfaces Symmetrical and Short-ranged.  Soft Matter, 9:3871-3876

* indicates corresponding authorship.