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Violacein is known to have a wide range of applications including the ability to inhibit the growth of Gram-positive bacteria. While the antibacterial effects of violacein have been known since the 1940’s, studies which isolate its mechanism of action have only begun to be released 70 years after its initial discovery. The goal of this body of work is to isolate why the antibacterial abilities of violacein exhibit greater inhibitory effects on the growth of Gram-positive bacteria over that of gram-negative bacteria. Where recent literature has determined the inhibitory action of violacein is due to a disruption of cytoplasmic membrane lipids through in-vitro studies, there has yet to be a determination of why gram-negative bacteria remain resistant to violacein’s antibacterial abilities. This study utilizes a mutated Gram-negative bacteria with a symmetrical outer membrane to determine whether the composition of the outer membrane plays a role in the effectiveness of violacein to inhibit bacterial growth. By exposing Gram-negative mutants with altered outer membranes to violacein our results show that violacein does inhibit the growth of gram-negative mutants with a symmetrical outer membrane. Utilizing these findings it was determined that outer membrane asymmetry is what allows Gram-negative bacteria to remain mostly unaffected by the presence of environmental violacein.
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Kuckyr, Michael N., "Analysis of Bacterial Membrane Structures Which Alter The Effectiveness of Violacein's Antibacterial Function." (2019). Senior Projects Spring 2019. 285.