Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Program

Biology

Date of Award

8-2022

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Erik Petersen

Committee Members

Bert Lampson, Christopher Pritchett

Abstract

Acinetobacter baumannii is an increasingly multidrug-resistant pathogen contributing to hospital-acquired infections necessitating the discovery of novel treatments. A bacterial second messenger, cyclic diguanosine monophosphate (cyclic di-GMP), can regulate various persistence factors that are potentially advantageous for survival in hospital environments. Cyclic di-GMP–modulating enzymes and cyclic di-GMP–binding effectors predictively are encoded in the Acinetobacter baumannii genome. I hypothesized that cyclic di-GMP controls motility, biofilm formation, and desiccation tolerance in Acinetobacter baumannii. Disrupting cyclic di-GMP–modulating enzymes or cyclic di-GMP–binding effectors should alter the regulatory effectiveness of these phenotypes. I tested the multidrug-resistant isolate Acinetobacter baumannii strain AB5075 and identified several transposon mutants that altered twitching motility, biofilm formation, and desiccation tolerance; these results suggest that cyclic di-GMP plays a role during these three responses in Acinetobacter baumannii AB5075. Inhibiting these cyclic di-GMP signaling pathways could produce novel mechanisms to combat this pathogen in the hospital environment.

Document Type

Thesis - embargo

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

Available for download on Friday, September 15, 2023

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