Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Bert Lampson

Committee Members

Ranjan Chakraborty, Laraine Powers, Erik Petersen


Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a ubiquitous, opportunistic pathogen that causes acute and chronic infections. Infection is typically initiated via motile and virulent strains. After exposure to stressors, acute infections make both genotypic and phenotypic switches to a chronic, sessile strain. This is due to intricate regulatory networks directing gene expression in response to stressors. One network, GacA/GacS, has been established to control virulence factors. The stringent response of bacteria is mediated by alarmones produced primarily by RelA which responds to starvation.

To study the effect of the stringent response on the virulence switch. A series of experiments were run in both PAO1, a virulent strain, and PDO300, an acute strain, and RelA deletion mutants of each transcriptional fusions of GacA/GacA system were integrated in the wild-types and mutants. Alginate, swimming, twitching, and biofilm formation assays were performed on all. The preliminary data suggests that the stringent response influences the GacA/GacS system.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.