MS (Master of Science)
Date of Award
Committee Chair or Co-Chairs
Bert C Lampson
Christopher L. Pritchett Dhirendra R. Kumar
The reverse flow of genetic information can occur when a special DNA polymerase called Reverse Transcriptase (RT) copies the genetic information in an RNA molecule back into a complementary DNA. One type of RT encoding gene found in bacteria is called a retron element. Recent bacterial genome sequencing projects have revealed many examples of retron RT genes. This gene assignment is based on comparison with a few known retron RT proteins. However, RT proteins are highly diverse in their amino acid sequences, and thus the assigned identity of these RT proteins as retrons in genome databases is questionable. One way to prove that these postulated RTs are indeed from retron elements is to see if they can produce msDNA. Retron RTs are known to synthesize a structurally unique satellite DNA called msDNA in the bacterial cells that contain them. Based on GenBank database matches to a known protein, 7 proteins designated as retron RTs were tested for their ability to synthesize msDNA. Five of these retron RTs did show evidence of producing msDNA and are from very different bacterial hosts. The other 2 RT proteins did not show any evidence that they produce msDNA.
Thesis - Open Access
Mu, Sen, "Detection of Bacterial Retroelements Using Genomics" (2013). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 1110. https://dc.etsu.edu/etd/1110
Copyright by the authors.