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Chytridiomycosis is an emerging fungal disease that has been linked to declines in amphibian populations world wide. Recent studies have shown that some amphibians have a mutualistic relationship with a cutaneous strain of bacteria (Janthinobacterium lividum) that may reduce morbidity and confer resistance to Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, the pathogen that causes Chytridiomycosis. J. lividum produces an anti-fungal metabolite called violacein which has also been shown to have anti-bacterial and anti-tumoral properties. Violacein is produced by several species of bacteria and is easily identified due to its deep purple color. In this study, we look at the genetic mechanisms which regulate Violacein production in Iodobacter BJB302, a locally isolated species that may use quorum sensing to mediate violacein production. Quorum sensing is a tool bacteria use to coordinate simultaneous gene expression among a population for processes such as biofilm production, bioluminescence, the production of toxins etc. To investigate this mechanism, we selected several mutants that displayed abnormal pigmentation from a transposon insertion mutant library, then sequenced and assembled the mutant genomes. By locating the transposon in the genomes of the mutants, we were able to identify some of the genes that could potentially be involved in the regulation of violacein production in Iodobacter BJB302. This work provides a basis for future analysis of the BJB 302 mutants and shows potential for the characterization of bacterial symbionts that might be used to combat chytridiomycosis.
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O'Donnell, Henry Robert, "Investigation of Genes Related to Quorum: Sensing in Iodobacter BJB302" (2019). Senior Projects Spring 2019. 25.
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