Date of Submission

Spring 2014

Academic Programs and Concentrations

Division of Science, Mathematics, and Computing; Biology

Project Advisor 1

Brooke Jude

Abstract/Artist's Statement

The chytrid species Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is responsible for a growing, worldwide amphibian decline. Recent studies have focused on bioremediation measures using Janthinobacterium lividum for treatment of this pathogenic fungus. Violacein, an indole based compound produced by J. lividum and a number of other microbial strains through gene products of a 5 gene operon, has been predicted to be directly responsible for chytrid reduction. Environmental isolates of J. lividum were obtained, cultured, and characterized phenotypically and genetically. To examine the strains at a genetic level, transposon mutagenesis was carried out. Transposon mutant libraries were created and screened for growth and expression of interesting phenotypes. J. lividum produces a biofilm that plays a large part in the sequestering and storage of violacein. Determining the genes that regulate the biofilm cascade is important when looking at J. lividum as a potential bioaugmentation candidate. Since violacein has these potentially important anti-fungal properties, and violacein production is closely related to biofilm production, mutants with interesting biofilm phenotypes were focused on. After performing a transposon mutagenesis of an isolate of J. lividum, BJB2, hyper-biofilm producing mutants were chosen to characterize and sequence. Two mutants were successfully sequenced, resulting in the discovery of two genes expressed by the mutant strains that were interrupted by the transposon insertion. Both genes found directly relate to biofilm production which is a step toward identifying the genetic cascade related to biofilm production.

Open Access Agreement

On-Campus only

Creative Commons License

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