Date of Award

8-2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Biology

Program

Biology

First Advisor/Chairperson

Dr. Josh Sharp

Second Advisor

Dr. Erich Ottem

Third Advisor

Dr. Donna Becker

Abstract

Two-component systems are common gene regulatory pathways seen in bacteria. Gene expression is controlled by these systems through a series of phosphorylation events between two proteins, a membrane bound sensor kinase and a cytoplasmic response regulator. Activation of a two-component system can be caused by biological or environmental stimuli, resulting in altered gene expression. A conserved two-component system was recently discovered in entomopathogenic bacteria, including our model organisms Pseudomonas entomophila and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and is homologous to the recently identified two-component system, CrbRS, in Vibrio cholerae. In V. cholerae CrbRS regulates acetate metabolism and controls virulence. The aim of this study is to determine whether a homologous two-component system present within our model organisms regulates similar genes within diverse organisms. Experiments by Hang et al., together with the current study, indicate that the deletion of this two-component system results in the down regulation of the gene acsA in V. cholerae, P. entomophila and P. aeruginosa. This study utilized further shows that this two-component system plays an important role in acetate metabolism by regulating expression of acsA in P. aeruginosa and P. entomophila. However, unlike that seen in V. cholerae, it does not regulate the virulence of these organisms.

Included in

Microbiology Commons

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