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Glucose Induces Sensitivity to Oxygen Deprivation and Alters Gene Expression in Caenorhabditis Elegans

Description: An organisms’ diet represents an exogenous influence that often yields colossal effects on long-term health and disease risk. The overconsumption of dietary sugars for example, has contributed to significant increases in obesity and type-2 diabetes; health issues that are costly both economically and in terms of human life. Individuals who are obese or are type-2 diabetic often have compromised oxygen delivery and an increased vulnerability to oxygen-deprivation related complications, such as ischemic strokes, peripheral arterial disease and myocardial infarction. Thus, it is of interest to identify the molecular changes glucose supplementation or hyperglycemia can induce, which ultimately compromise oxygen deprivation responses. By utilizing the Caenorhabditis elegans genetic model system, which is anoxia tolerant, I determined that a glucose-supplemented diet negatively impacts responses to anoxia and that the insulin-like signaling pathway, through fatty acid and ceramide biosynthesis and antioxidant activity, modulates anoxia survival. Additionally, a glucose-supplemented diet induces lipid accumulation. Use of RNA-sequencing analysis to compare gene expression responses in animals fed either a standard or glucose-supplemented diet revealed that glucose impacts the expression of genes involved with multiple cellular processes including lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, stress responses, cell division, and extracellular functions. Several of the genes we identified are homologous to human genes that are differentially regulated in response to metabolic diseases, suggesting that there may be conserved gene expression responses between C. elegans supplemented with glucose and a diabetic and/or obese state observed in humans. These findings support the utility of C. elegans to model specific aspects of the T2D disease process (e.g., glucose-induced sensitivity to oxygen deprivation) and identify potentially novel regulators of common complications seen in hyperglycemic and T2D patients (e.g., macrovascular complications).
Date: August 2015
Creator: Garcia, Anastacia M.

Green Improvements: A Consumer's Guide to Environmentally and Economically Responsible Home Repairs and Improvements for the North Central Texas Region

Description: The Consumer's Guide is designed to help consumers by providing guidelines for the purchase of specific energy-efficient household appliances- water heaters, air conditioning and heating systems, windows, dishwashers, refrigerators, clothes washers, and dryers. This serves two major purposes: to decrease the environmental impact of those products and to save consumers money over the lifetime of the products. The seven major appliances covered in this work are things that consumers tend to purchase quickly when their older models wear out and with little research into their energy and/or water efficiency. The guide begins with a general introduction and an explanation of the need for energy conservation. Explanations of how they work, purchasing tips, installation tips, maintenance tips, tips for additional energy efficiency, and case studies are given for each appliance. Printable pamphlets are included at the end.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Dickason, Deborah

The Growth of Azotobacter vinelandii on p-Hydroxybenzoic Acid from Soil Medium

Description: The purpose of this study was to search for the substrates utilized by Azotobacter vinelandii in dialysed soil media. Also, we sought to determine the relationship between these substrates and the growth and morphological variations of A. vinelandii. p-Hydroxybenzoic acid was shown to be used as the carbon and energy source by A. vinelandii in dialysed soil medium. The amount of this compound in the soil dialysed soil medium ranged from 14 to 21 micrograms per gram of soil. In a dialysed soil medium, p-hydroxybenzoic acid induced A. vinelandii to form minute bodies, similar to the filtrable forms reported by Gonzalez and Vela, although no growth of minute bodies was detected.
Date: August 1982
Creator: Wu, Fang Jy

A Habitat Evaluation and Management Plan for a Riparian Ecosystem

Description: Ecological research involving habitat studies was conducted on the Elm Fork of the Trinity River in Denton County, Texas, from spring 1985 to spring 1986. Habitat Evaluation Procedures and Habitat Suitability Index Models developed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service were applied to a 1419 hectares study area to determine the quality of habitat for four species: beaver, Castor canadensis, wood duck, Aix sponsa, pileated woodpecker, Dryocopus pileatus, and white crappie, Poxomis annularis. Population estimates were generated. A wildlife management plan was developed for the study area. Habitat Suitability Index Models were found to be overly conservative, underestimating the quality of habitat in areas of ecological transition.
Date: May 1988
Creator: Wilkinson, Robert N.

Habitat Fragmentation by Land-Use Change: One-Horned Rhinoceros in Nepal and Red-Cockaded Woodpecker in Texas

Description: This research focuses on the spatial analysis of the habitat of two vulnerable species, the one-horn rhinoceros in the grasslands of southern Nepal, and the red-cockaded woodpecker in the Piney woods of southeast Texas, in the USA. A study sites relevant for biodiversity conservation was selected in each country: Chitwan National Park in Nepal, and areas near the Big Thicket National Preserve in Texas. Land-use differs in the two study areas: the first is still undergoing agrarian development while the second is in a technological phase and undergoing urbanization processes. Satellite remote sensing images were used to derive land-cover maps by supervised classification. These maps were then processed by Geographic Information Systems methods to apply habitat models based on basic resources (food and cover) and obtain habitat suitability maps. Several landscape metrics were computed to quantify the habitat characteristics especially the composition and configuration of suitable habitat patches. Sensitivity analyses were performed as the nominal values of some of the model parameters were arbitrary. Development potential probability models were used to hypothesize changes in land-use of the second study site. Various scenarios were employed to examine the impact of development on the habitat of red-cockaded woodpecker. The method derived in this study would prove beneficial to guide management and conservation of wildlife habitats.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Thapa, Vivek

Head Trauma Release of Histamine from Dural Mast Cells Alters Blood-Brain Barrier: Attenuation with Zolantidine

Description: This study employed a new model of mild-to-moderate head trauma to specifically identify the role of dural mast cell (MC) histamine in trauma-induced increased permeability in the blood-brain barrier (BBB). A single line was scored partially through the left dorsal parietal skull. Immediately following the trauma, degranulation was seen in 39% of the MCs on the left and in 2% on the right. After a 20 min survival period, left duras showed 55% with MC degranulation (fewer with complete degranulation) compared to 34% on the right. In the other experiments two parallel lines were scored following the injection of Evan's blue. Histamine assay showed histamine increased in the left cortex to 154% at 5 min, 174% at 10 min, and 151% at 20 min. Fluorescent quantitation of extravasated Evan's blue at 20 min following the trauma gave an increase of 1385% over the value measured for the right cortex. Zolantidine, a selective histamine H2 receptor antagonist, administered at 10- and 20- mg/kg 30 min before the trauma blocked 65% of the Evan's blue extravasation compared with the control and 2.5 mg group.
Date: December 2000
Creator: Laufer, Susan R.

Heart rate and oxygen consumption during the critical prenatal period in chicken embryos (Gallus gallus): Influence of light cues and the onset of pulmonary ventilation.

Description: To examine if a rhythm can be entrained in either heart rate or oxygen consumption in late stage embryos (days 17-19.5) with light as a zeitgeber, chicken embryos were incubated in complete darkness (D:D) and 12:12 light:dark cycle (L:D). Light had no impact on oxygen consumption (390 µL O2∙min-1∙egg-1) but increased heart rate for non-internally pipped embryos (260 to 270 beats∙min-1 during light cycle). Oxygen consumption increased independent of pipping while heart rate increased (255 to 265 beats∙min-1) in D:D embryos due to pipping. A light-induced rhythm or effect occurred in heart rate but not oxygen consumption, suggesting heart rate and oxygen consumption may be uncoupled.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Brown, Jessie W.

Hematocrit, hematocrit Regulation and its effect on oxygen consumption in the late stage chicken embryo (Gallus domesticus).

Description: Hematocrit and hematocrit regulation have the potential to affect developing embryos. To examine the ability of chicken embryos at day 15 to regulate hematocrit, they were subjected to either repeated saline injections (5% of total blood volume) or repeated blood removal (5% of total blood volume). Embryos showed an ability to maintain hematocrit (~20%) despite blood volume increases up to 115% of initial blood volume. Embryos were not able to maintain hematocrit in the face of dramatic blood volume loss. Oxygen consumption of embryos could be affected by their level of hematocrit. To examine this, chicken embryos at day 15, 16, and 17 of incubation were given a high hematocrit (~50-60%) sample of blood (400 μl) to artificially increase the hematocrit of the embryos (~10-12%). Despite the increase in oxygen availability, when monitored over a period of six hours, embryos showed no difference (0.36 ± 0.01 (ml O2 - min-1- egg-1) in metabolism from baseline measurements at day 15, 16 and 17.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Khorrami, Sheva

Hematological Parameters of the Bluegill, Lepomis machrochirus (Rafinesque), Including Effects of Turbidity, Chloramines, and Flexibacter columnaris

Description: Normal ranges of values for hematological parameters of bluegill gathered seasonally from three lakes were determined. Sexual, seasonal, and inter-lake variations were found. Effects of 2-wk exposure to turbidity on blood parameters included an increase in rbc size and a decrease in small lymphocytes. Effects of 3-hr exposure were increases in rbc count, hemoglobin, and pH and decreases in PG2 and large lymphocytes. The effects of 0.44 and 0.88 ppm chloramines were an increase in blood pH, a decrease in MEV, and severe spastic reactions resulting in loss of equilibrium or death in 90% of the fish. Effects of Flexibacter columnaris included an increase in transformed lymphocytes and a decrease in small lymphocytes.
Date: May 1976
Creator: Jones, Betty Juanelle

Hepatotoxicity of Mercury to Fish

Description: Tissue samples from spotted gar (Lepisosteus oculatus) and largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) were collected from Caddo Lake. Gar and bass livers were subjected to histological investigation and color analysis. Liver color (as abs at 400 nm) was significantly correlated with total mercury in the liver (r2 = 0.57, p = 0.02) and muscle (r2 = 0.58, p = 0.01) of gar. Evidence of liver damage as lipofuscin and discoloration was found in both species but only correlated with liver mercury concentration in spotted gar. Inorganic mercury was the predominant form in gar livers. In order to determine the role of mercury speciation in fish liver damage, a laboratory feeding study was employed. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) were fed either a control (0.12 ± 0.002 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt), inorganic mercury (5.03 ± 0.309 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt), or methylmercury (4.11 ± 0.146 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt) diet. After 78 days of feeding, total mercury was highest in the carcass of zebrafish fed methylmercury (12.49 ± 0.369 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt), intermediate in those fed inorganic mercury (1.09 ± 0.117 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt), and lowest in fish fed the control diet (0.48 ± 0.038 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt). Total mercury was highest in the viscera of methylmercury fed zebrafish (11.6 ± 1.86 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt), intermediate in those fed inorganic diets (4.3 ± 1.08 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt), and lowest in the control fish (below limit of detection). Total mercury was negatively associated with fish length and weight in methylmercury fed fish. Condition factor was not associated with total mercury and might not be the best measure of fitness for these fish. No liver pathologies were observed in zebrafish from any treatment.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Barst, Benjamin Daniel

Hindrance of the Myosin Power Stroke Posed by the Proximity to the Troponin Complex Identified Using a Novel LRET Fluorescent Nanocircuit

Description: A novel luminescence resonance energy transfer (LRET) nanocircuit assay involving a donor and two acceptors in tandem was developed to study the dynamic interaction of skeletal muscle contraction proteins. The donor transmits energy relayed to the acceptors distinguishing myosin subfragment-1 (S1) lever arm orientations. The last acceptor allows the detection of S1's bound near or in between troponin complexes on the thin filament. Additionally, calcium related changes between troponin T and myosin were detected. Based on this data, the troponin complex situated every 7 actin monomers, hinders adjacently bound myosins to complete their power stroke; whereas myosins bound in between troponin complexes undergo complete power strokes.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Coffee Castro-Zena, Pilar G.

Histochemical Characterization of Lymphocytes in Preleukemic and Leukemic AKR Mice

Description: The AKR strain of mice have a genetic trait for spontaneous development of lymphocytic leukemia. In this study, leukemic mice were found to have significantly larger (p<0.01) thymuses and spleens than preleukemic mice. The enlarged leukemic tissues were densely packed with a light staining cell, with a hollow-appearing nucleus. Tissues from preleukemic mice were observed to be infiltrated with a smaller, darker-staining lymphocyte. Fluorescent antibody staining was done on preleukemic and leukemic tissues, using three antisera against murine lymphocyte theta antigen, and an antiserum against murine IgG. Significantly brighter fluorescence, (p <0.05) with theta-specific antisera, was found in leukemic thymuses,spleens, and kidneys than in the same preleukemic tissues. Leukemic tissues had significantly brighter fluorescence (p <0.05) than preleukemic tissues with IgG antiserum.
Date: May 1979
Creator: Michnoff, Carolyn A.

Histological age estimation of the midshaft clavicle using a new digital technique.

Description: Histological methods to estimate skeletal age at death, in forensic cases, are an alternative to the more traditional gross morphological methods. Most histological methods utilize counts of bone type within a given field for their estimation. The method presented in this paper uses the percentage area occupied by unremodeled bone to estimate age. The percentage area occupied by unremodeled bone is used in a linear regression model to predict skeletal age at death. Additionally, this method uses digital software to measure area rather than the traditional technique in which a gridded microscope is used to estimate area. The clavicle was chosen as a sample site since it is not a weight bearing bone and has little muscular insertion. These factors reduce the variation seen as a result of differences in lifestyle or activity pattern.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Ingraham, Mark R.

Home range analysis of rehabilitated and released great horned owls (Bubo virginianus) in Denton County, Texas, through radio telemetry.

Description: Raptor rehabilitation has become commonplace globally, yet studies on the survival and adaptation of great horned owls (Bubo virginianus) after release has been neglected to an appreciable extent. The primary objective of this study is to provide quantitative data on the success of rehabilitated and released great horned owls in the North Texas region. Owls (N=12) were rehabilitated and released onto the Ray Roberts Greenbelt Corridor in Denton County, Texas, and monitored using radio telemetry to evaluate home range (November 2002 - February 2005). With approximately 75% of the birds released for this study surviving until transmitter battery failure, it is believed that the rehabilitation process was successful for these birds.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Johnston, Jennifer Lynn

Hooking Mortality of Largemouth Bass Caught on Controversial Artificial Lures and Live Bait : Lake Ray Roberts, Texas

Description: A total of 192 largemouth bass were caught at Lake Ray Roberts, Texas (1995) to investigate five controversial bass angling techniques relative to hooking mortality. The bait types were Texas-rigged scented and non-scented plastic worms, Carolina-rigged scented and non-scented plastic worms, and live golden shiners. Overall hooking mortality was 21.87% and mortality was dependent upon bait type. Highest mortality resulted from the Texas-rigged scented lures, while the lowest mortality was generated by live golden shiners. A creel survey indicated that few anglers were having success with the investigated baits. Factors that had a confirmed effect on hooking mortality were hooking location and water temperature. Hooking mortality was not excessive compared to other similar studies.
Date: May 1996
Creator: Alumbaugh, Andrew E. (Andrew Edward)

Hypoxia and the Development of Endothermic Capacity in Chickens (Gallus Gallus)

Description: Adult chickens employ endothermy – internal generation of heat that maintains a constant body temperature (Tb). Prior to hatching, chicken embryos are ectothermic - controlling Tb by external heat sources. Upon hatching, the hatchling transitions from an ectotherm to an endotherm that has been shown to be delayed by hypoxia. In this study, whole animal oxygen consumption () and liver, heart, and skeletal muscle citrate synthase activity (CSA) and were measured during this transition to endothermy in chickens incubated in normoxia and hypoxia (15% O2). The only significant differences in occurred in 48 hour old hatchlings where was lower in normoxic hatchlings. There were no differences in CS activity between age and incubation oxygen levels. Additionally, preliminary 2-D protein gels of embryo and hatchling liver show changes in the proteome upon hatching. Results suggest that hypoxia had no significant effect on CSA and a minimal effect on .
Date: August 2012
Creator: Neely, Aaron Mackallan

Hypoxic and hyperoxic incubation affects the ductus arteriosus in the developing chicken embryo (Gallus gallus).

Description: Developing chicken embryos have two ductus arteriosus (DA) that shunt blood away from the lungs and to the chorioallantoic membrane, the embryonic gas exchanger. In mammals, DA closure is stimulated by an increase in blood gas O2 that occurs as the animal begins to breathe with its lungs. The goal of this study was to determine the influence of O2 levels during incubation on the vascular reactivity and morphology of the O2-sensitive DA and to examine the effects of changing O2 levels during late incubation on the morphology of the DA from chicken embryos. In comparison to normoxia, hypoxia (15%) reduced venous O2 levels in day 16 and day 18 embryos and reduced aircell O2 values in day 16, day 18, and internally pipped (IP) embryos, whereas hyperoxia (30%) increased venous O2 levels and aircell O2 level in day 16, day 18, and IP embryos. In comparison to normoxia, hypoxia delayed closure of the DA, whereas hyperoxia accelerated DA closure. In comparison to the left DA from externally pipped (EP) normoxic embryos, the left DA from EP hypoxic embryos exhibited a significantly weaker contractile response to O2. The DA from day 18 hypoxic embryos exhibited a significantly weaker contractile response to norepinephrine and phenylephrine when compared with the DA from day 18 normoxic and hyperoxic embryos. The effect of incubation in hypoxia / hyperoxia during different developmental windows on the DA O2-induced contractile response was observed only in IP embryos that were incubated in normoxia for 16 days and were then moved to hyperoxia. Incubation in hypoxia / hyperoxia resulted in differences in embryo mass, yolk mass, and heart mass. There is an association between the decreased contractile response to O2 and delayed closure in the proximal portion of the DA from hypoxic embryos; as well as an increased contractile ...
Date: December 2009
Creator: Copeland, Jennifer

Identification and Characterization of an Arabidopsis Thaliana Mutant with Tolerance to N-lauroylethanolamime

Description: N-Acylethanolamines (NAEs) are fatty acid derivatives in plants that negatively influence seedling growth. N-Lauroylethanolamine (NAE 12:0), one type of NAE, inhibits root length, increases radial swelling of root tips and reduces root hair numbers in a dose dependent manner in Arabidopis thaliana L. (ecotype Columbia). A forward genetics approach was employed by screening a population of T-DNA “activation-tagged” developed by the Salk Institute lines for NAE resistance to identify potential genes involved in NAE signaling events in Arabidopsis thaliana L. (ecotype Columbia). Seeds of the activation tagged lines were grown at 0, 25, 30, 50, 75 and 100 µM N-lauroylethanolamime (NAE 12:0). Ten plants which displayed NAE tolerance (NRA) seedling phenotypes, compared with wildtype (Columbia, Col-0) seedlings were identified. I focused on one mutant line, identified as NRA 25, where the tolerance to NAE 12:0 appears to be mediated by a single dominant, nuclear gene. Thermal asymmetric interlaced (TAIL) PCR identified the location of the T-DNA insert as 3.86 kbp upstream of the locus At1g68510. Quantitative PCR indicated that the transcript level corresponding to At1g68510 is upregulated approximately 20 fold in the mutant relative to wildtype. To determine whether the NAE tolerance in NRA 25 is associated with overexpression of At1g68510 I created overexpressing lines of At1g68510 with and without GFP fusions behind the 2X35S CaMV promoter. As predicted, results with overexpressing lines of At1g68510 also exhibited enhanced resistance to NAE when compared with the wildtype. Confocal images of the fusion proteins suggest that GFP-At1g68510 is concentrated in the nucleus and this was confirmed by counterstaining with 4', 6-Diamidino-2-phenylindol (DAPI). Futhermore, At1g68510 overexpressing lines and NRA 25 line also exhibited tolerance to abscisic acid (ABA) during seedling germination. The findings suggests that At1g68510 overexpression mediates seedling tolerance to both ABA and NAE, a mechanism independent of fatty acid amide hydrolase ...
Date: December 2015
Creator: Adhikari, Bikash

Identification and characterization of an incomplete root hair elongation (IRE)-like gene in Medicago truncatula (L.) root nodules.

Description: Cloning and molecular characterization of new genes constitutes a useful approach in studying the symbiotic interactions between the model plant Medicago truncatula and Synorhizobium meliloti. Large numbers of expressed sequence tags (ESTs) available for Medicago truncatula, along with numerous cDNA, oligonucleotides, and Affimetrix DNA microarray chips, represent useful tools for gene discovery. In an attempt to identify a new gene that might be involved in the process of nodulation in Medicago truncatula, preliminary data reported by Fedorova et al. (2002), who identified 340 putative gene products or tentative consensus sequences (TCs) expressed only in nodules, was used. This research was focused on TC33166 (TC103185), which has 3 ESTs in the TC, and whose strongest BLASTX hit of TC103185 is the incomplete root hair elongation (IRE) protein kinase-like protein (NP_192429) from Arabidopsis thaliana. The Arabidopsis IRE gene is required for normal root hair growth, and a role in apical growth was suggested (Oyama et al., 2002). Infection thread growth can be looked at as an inward growth of the root hair. Thus, TC103185 was a good candidate for identifying a gene that may be involved in early events of nodulation. MtIRE (GenBank accession AC122727) is organized in 17 exons and 16 introns, similarly to the Arabidopsis IRE gene. MtIRE is a new member of the IRE family and it is a putative Ser/Thr protein kinase. MtIRE is a nodule- and flower-specific gene, suggesting that nodulation may have recruited it from other developmental processes. MtIRE is likely to be involved in the invasion process, or in the maturation of the symbiosome, or of the cells that contain rhizobia, rather than infection thread initiation and elongation or in nitrogen fixation. Nodule invasion precedes the onset of MtIRE expression and the expression pattern changes in time within the nodule. RNA interference results support MtIRE ...
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Date: May 2006
Creator: Pislariu, Catalina Iulia

Identification and Characterization of the Pyrimidine Biosynthetic Operon in Streptomyces griseus

Description: To further understand the ATCase/DHOase bifunctional complex formed in Streptomyces, the genes encoding these and other pyrimidine enzymes were identified and characterized. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was utilized in this effort. Primers were constructed by selecting conserved regions of pyrimidine genes from known gene and protein sequences of a wide variety of organisms. These sequences were then optimized to Streptomyces codon usage. PCR products were obtained from internal sites within pyrimidine genes and also from primer combinations of different genes. The size, orientation, and partial sequence of the resulting products shows that Streptomyces has a gene organization of pyrR followed by pyrB, pyrC, carA, carB, and pyrF in an operon similar to that found in other Gram-positive bacteria.
Date: May 1998
Creator: Hooten, Jody J. (Jody Jeran)

Identification and quantification of lipid metabolites in cotton fibers: Reconciliation with metabolic pathway predictions from DNA databases.

Description: The lipid composition of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum, L) fibers was determined. Fatty acid profiles revealed that linolenate and palmitate were the most abundant fatty acids present in fiber cells. Phosphatidylcholine was the predominant lipid class in fiber cells, while phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylinositol and digalactosyldiacylglycerol were also prevalent. An unusually high amount of phosphatidic acid was observed in frozen cotton fibers. Phospholipase D activity assays revealed that this enzyme readily hydrolyzed radioactive phosphatidylcholine into phosphatidic acid. A profile of expressed sequence tags (ESTs) for genes involved in lipid metabolism in cotton fibers was also obtained. This EST profile along with our lipid metabolite data was used to predict lipid metabolic pathways in cotton fiber cells.
Date: May 2004
Creator: Wanjie, Sylvia W.

Identification of a Potential Factor Affecting Graduation Rates in STEM for Hispanic Students at the University of North Texas, via Analysis of Nonfiction Science Books in Spanish Language for ELLs in the Dallas ISD Schools

Description: Latinos are the largest minority group in the U.S.; however despite the continuous growth of the Hispanic population, Latinos are severely underrepresented in STEM fields. One of the reasons that might explain why Latinos do not major in STEM is the way they encounter science curriculum in primary school. Students' limited proficiency in English may constrain their science achievement when instruction is delivered exclusively in English. A quantitative analysis with graduation rates in STEM from 2009 to 2014 at the University of North Texas was conducted, finding that there is a significant difference (p<0.05) in the number of bachelor's degrees in STEM between Hispanic, White, African American and other student populations. Interviews with teachers, librarians and publishing companies were performed to describe the limited science literature in Spanish at the Dallas ISD schools. Improving science literacy by teaching according to ELLs' linguistic skills and culture may lead to a better understanding of science curriculum throughout their education, which may translate into higher college graduation rates by Hispanic recipients in STEM.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Garcia Colin, Monica

Identification of Genes Involved in Flocculation by Whole Genome Sequencing of Thauera Aminoaromatica Strain Mz1t Floc-defective Mutants

Description: Thauera aminoaromatica MZ1T, a floc-forming bacterium isolated from an industrial activated sludge wastewater treatment plant, overproduces exopolysaccharide (EPS) leading to viscous bulking. This phenomenon results in poor sludge settling and dewatering during the clarification process. To identify genes responsible for bacterial flocculation, a whole genome phenotypic sequencing technique was applied. Genomic DNA of MZ1T flocculation-deficient mutants were subjected to massively parallel sequencing. The resultant high-quality reads were assembled and compared to the reference genome of the wild type genome. We identified nine nonsynonymous mutations and one nonsense mutation putatively involved in EPS biosynthesis. Complementation of the nonsense mutation located in an EPS deacetylase gene restored the flocculating phenotype. The FTIR spectra of EPS isolated from the wild-type showed reduced C=O peak of the N-acetyl group at 1665 cm-1 as compared to the spectra of MZ1T floc-deficient mutant EPS, suggesting that the WT EPS was partially deacetylated. Gene expression analysis also demonstrated the deacetylase gene transcript increased before flocculation occurred. The results suggest that the deacetylation of MZ1T EPS is crucial for flocculation. The information obtained from this study will be useful for preventing viscous bulking and wastewater treatment system failure, and may have potential applications in the biotechnology sector for the controlled removal of cells.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Prombutara, Pinidphon