Date of Submission

Spring 2017

Academic Programs and Concentrations


Project Advisor 1

Swapan Jain

Project Advisor 2

Gabriel Perron

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Extracellular DNA (eDNA) is the result of bacteria releasing their intercellular DNA into the surrounding environment. eDNA then could function as a component for biofilm formation, horizontal gene transfer and genetic transformation. This study attempts to positively correlate the mechanism of actively secreting eDNA from a live and intact cell in Bacillus subtilis to an evolutionary advantageous behavior for individual cells and populations. Our study propagates a gene-level selection experiment in order to build a hierarchy of highly evolved mutants that either secretes more or less amounts of eDNA. Our analysis included monitoring bacteria growth, isolating and quantifying eDNA, and selecting for the highest or lowest secreting eDNA replicate. Our results confirm that the existence of eDNA could be explained by understanding bacterial behavior and the persistence of our selected trait of eDNA secretion amongst mutants in an evolution selection experiment. Future exploration is competition assay in conjunction with this selection experiment.

Open Access Agreement

On-Campus only

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

This work is protected by a Creative Commons license. Any use not permitted under that license is prohibited.

Bard Off-campus Download

Bard College faculty, staff, and students can login from off-campus by clicking on the Off-campus Download button and entering their Bard username and password.