Date of Submission

Spring 2013

Academic Program

Biology

Project Advisor 1

John Ferguson

Abstract/Artist's Statement

The Entner-Doudoroff (ED) pathway is a sequence of reactions that is used for the breakdown of sugar for use as an energy source in many organisms. The pathway has recently been found in some quorum sensing negative El Tor and Classical strains of Vibrio cholerae. The pathway was found to be obligatory for gluconate catabolism in these strains. New V. cholerae strains with features from both the El Tor and Classical strains have emerged over the last two decades. These strains are referred to as “El Tor variants”. One of these strains is the MQ1795. This strain was isolated in Bangladesh and it is a quorum sensing positive strain that was found to have heightened virulence. In this study, we examined the ED pathway in the MQ1795 strain. By growing the strain on minimal media plates supplemented with gluconate only, we found that the strain is able to survive by utilizing gluconate as an energy source, which points to the existence of the ED pathway in the strain. To further prove that the strain uses the ED pathway to utilize gluconate, we attempted to create an in-frame deletion of one of the genes that are unique to the ED pathway and essential for its function, the edd gene. We planned to grow the resulting ΔeddMQ1795 strain on minimal media supplemented with gluconate to find whether the ED pathway was in fact required for the utilization of gluconate. The construction of the deletion plasmid necessary to do the in-frame deletion was unsuccessful, which prevented us from completing the experiment. Completing the in-frame deletion and continuing this study of the ED pathway in the MQ1795 strain is important for understanding possible relationships between ED pathway and quorum sensing in V. cholerae and the potential effects of the pathway on virulence in this strain.

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