Date of Submission

Spring 2013

Academic Program


Project Advisor 1

Brooke Jude

Project Advisor 2

Phillip Johns

Abstract/Artist's Statement


Janthinobacterium lividum is known to produce the compound violacein. It has previously been show that Janthinobacterium lividum generates more violacein when glycerol is present as a carbon source and less when glucose is present as a carbon source (Pantanella et al. 2007). Janthinobacterium lividum as well as several other violacein producing bacteria were cultured in media containing either glucose or glycerol and violacein was extracted from these cultures in order to measure the concentration of violacein produced,

The expected trend, lower violacein production in the presence of glucose and higher production in the presence of glycerol, was not reproduced in this experiment. Over the course of each of the three trials I ran on each strain of bacteria I found wildly different trends in violacein production. Because I was unable to reproduce the known trend in Janthinobacterium lividum and because of other factors in the data it suggests that there may have been some flaw in my methods. Further experiments are needed to find if this trend does indeed hold for other species of violacein producers. Violacein has the potential to treat an extremely diverse range of diseases, including MRSA, malaria, leishmaniasis, leukemia, and other forms of cancer. Because of this it is important to understand how violacein is produced, and what factors control its production.

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