Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Program

Biology

Date of Award

8-2013

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Christopher Pritchett

Committee Members

Bert Lampson, Eric Mustain

Abstract

Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a Gram-negative bacillus, commonly infects immunocompromised individuals and uses a variety of virulence factors to persist in these hosts. The posttranscriptional regulator, RsmA, plays a role in the expression of many virulence factors in P. aeruginosa. RsmA up regulates virulence factors used in colonizing hosts. However, regulation of rsmA is not well elucidated. Transposon mutagenesis was performed on P. aeruginosa containing a transcriptional rsmA-lacZ fusion to answer this question. Mutants were screened via β-galactosidase assay and transposon insertions identified via arbitrary PCR. A probable MFS transporter, we named mtpX, was one significant transposon mutant identified. A ΔmtpX mutant containing the rsmA-lacZ transcriptional fusion was constructed to confirm our results. Further analysis of rsmA, looking at RNA and protein levels, revealed varying results in nonmucoid versus mucoid backgrounds. Phenotypic assays were performed to characterize this unknown transporter and develop a putative mechanism as to how MtpX affects rsmA expression.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.