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Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Chris L. Pritchett

Committee Members

Bert Lampson, Mohamed Elgazzar


Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a central nosocomial pathogen that can infect any tissue in the human body. A two-component system in P. aeruginosa that regulates many virulence factors is the AlgZ/R system. A previously unidentified regulator of algZ, that does not affect algR, has been identified via transposon mutagenesis, ‘PA2771’. The mechanism of regulation has not been previously studied, and novel evidence of PA2771 functioning as a diguanyalate cyclase was observed. When PA2771 is active, cyclic di-GMP levels are high, promoting the upregulation of the fimU operon and Type VI pili. In the PA2771 mutant, an upregulation in the expression of the flagellar genes and swarming phenotype was observed, and restored via complementation. PA2771's function in regulating algZ expression, is likely indirect and alters virulence gene regulation and phenotypic outputs in P. aeruginosa in the switch between twitching and swimming motility, and appears to be specific to PA2771.

Document Type

Thesis - restricted


Copyright by the authors.