Honors Program

University Honors

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Sean Fox

Thesis Professor Department


Thesis Reader(s)

Ranjan Chakraborty


Quorum sensing molecules have become a recent focus of study to learn if and how they can be used, both on their own and in conjecture with current antimicrobial methods, as a means of bacterial control. One such quorum sensing molecule is the sesquiterpene alcohol, Farnesol, which is synthesized and released by the fungus, Candida albicans. In most in-vivo cases, our laboratory has shown that Alcaligenes faecalis overtakes C. albicans, preventing its growth. However, as a way to counteract this inhibitory effect, Farnesol may be one way that Candida has found to fight back. In this study, we focused on the inhibitory properties of Farnesol for growth and motility of A. faecalis, as well as, the molecule’s ability to prevent Alcaligenes from creating biofilms and/or degrading them once they have already been established. Our experiments show evidence that Farnesol is able to inhibit both the growth and motility of A. faecalis, and determination of the specific concentrations of Farnesol needed to see the largest effects on A. faecalis biofilms. Our hope is that in future studies, we will be able to add varying concentrations of the Farnesol to known and widely used antibiotics in order to increase the effectiveness of antibiotics against bacterial strains, both in the Alcaligenes genus and in other genus, that have previously been considered “antibiotic resistant”.


East Tennessee State University

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Withheld

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