Title

Quorum Sensing in B. japonicum

Presenter Information

Victoria Grill

Department

Biological Sciences

Major

Biological Sciences

Research Advisor

Westenberg, David J.

Advisor's Department

Biological Sciences

Funding Source

Opportunities for Undergraduate Research Experiences (OURE)

Abstract

Quorum sensing is the ability of a cell to alter its gene expression in response to chemical stimuli produced by changes in population density. Homoserine lactones (HSLs) are the molecular stimuli responsible for quorum sensing in many nitrogen-fixing microbial species. This project aims to detect, identify, and characterize a novel HSL produced by Bradyrhizobium japonicum, a species thought to lack a detectable quorum sensing molecule. The B. japonicum quorum sensing gene promoter and regulatory element were inserted into a LacZ plasmid to create an HSL indicator E. coli strain. Simultaneously, the use of thin layer chromatography (TLC) was used to compare this novel HSL to known HSLs produced by other species. TLC was performed using an Agrobacterium tumefaciens indicator strain to observe the response to known B. japonicum HSLs. Understanding this quorum sensing provides practical applications specifically in the field of agriculture.

Biography

Victoria Grill a senior in the Biological Sciences department at Missouri University of Science and Technology. After graduating this spring, she hopes to attend graduate school where she will continue to do research in the field of biology. She aspires to one day work in the government sector conducting research. In addition to research, Victoria enjoys serving as a Peer Learning Assistant for the L.E.A.D. organization where she helps other students succeed in their chemistry and biology courses.

Research Category

Research Proposals

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Document Type

Poster

Location

Upper Atrium/Hallway

Presentation Date

11 Apr 2016, 9:00 am - 11:45 am

Comments

Joint project with Elizabeth Thoenen and Samantha Huckuntod

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Apr 11th, 9:00 AM Apr 11th, 11:45 AM

Quorum Sensing in B. japonicum

Upper Atrium/Hallway

Quorum sensing is the ability of a cell to alter its gene expression in response to chemical stimuli produced by changes in population density. Homoserine lactones (HSLs) are the molecular stimuli responsible for quorum sensing in many nitrogen-fixing microbial species. This project aims to detect, identify, and characterize a novel HSL produced by Bradyrhizobium japonicum, a species thought to lack a detectable quorum sensing molecule. The B. japonicum quorum sensing gene promoter and regulatory element were inserted into a LacZ plasmid to create an HSL indicator E. coli strain. Simultaneously, the use of thin layer chromatography (TLC) was used to compare this novel HSL to known HSLs produced by other species. TLC was performed using an Agrobacterium tumefaciens indicator strain to observe the response to known B. japonicum HSLs. Understanding this quorum sensing provides practical applications specifically in the field of agriculture.