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Map-based cloning of the NIP gene in model legume Medicago truncatula.

Description: Large amounts of industrial fertilizers are used to maximize crop yields. Unfortunately, they are not completely consumed by plants; consequently, this leads to soil pollution and negative effects on aquatic systems. An alternative to industrial fertilizers can be found in legume plants that provide a nitrogen source that is not harmful for the environment. Legume plants, through their symbiosis with soil bacteria called rhizobia, are able to reduce atmospheric nitrogen into ammonia, a biological nitrogen source. Establishment of the symbiosis requires communication on the molecular level between the two symbionts, which leads to changes on the cellular level and ultimately results in nitrogen-fixing nodule development. Inside the nodules hypoxic environment, the bacterial enzyme nitrogenase reduces atmospheric nitrogen to ammonia. Medicago truncatula is the model legume plant that is used to study symbiosis with mycorrhiza and with the bacteria Sinorhizobium meliloti. The focus of this work is the M. truncatula nodulation mutant nip (numerous infections and polyphenolics). The NIP gene plays a role in the formation and differentiation of nodules, and development of lateral roots. Studying this mutant will contribute knowledge to understanding the plant response to infection and how the invasion by rhizobia is regulated. Previous genetic mapping placed NIP at the top of linkage group 1 of the M. truncatula genome. A NIP mapping population was established with the purpose of performing fine mapping in the region containing NIP. DNA from two M. truncatula ecotypes A17 and A20 can be distinguished through polymorphisms. Positional mapping of the NIP gene is based on the A17/A20 genetic map of M. truncatula. The NIP mapping population of 2277 plants was scored for their nodulation phenotype and genotyped with flanking molecular genetic markers 146o17 and 23c16d, which are located ~1.5 cM apart and on either side of NIP. This resulted in the identification ...
Date: May 2007
Creator: Morris, Viktoriya
Partner: UNT Libraries

Identifying genetic interactions of the spindle checkpoint in Caenorhabditis elegans.

Description: Faithful segregation of chromosomes is ensured by the spindle checkpoint. If a kinetochore does not correctly attach to a microtubule the spindle checkpoint stops cell cycle progression until all chromosomes are attached to microtubules or tension is experienced while pulling the chromosomes. The C. elegans gene, san-1, is required for spindle checkpoint function and anoxia survival. To further understand the role of san-1 in the spindle checkpoint, an RNAi screen was conducted to identify genetic interactions with san-1. The kinetochore gene hcp-1 identified in this screen, was known to have a genetic interaction with hcp-2. Interestingly, san-1(ok1580);hcp-2(ok1757) had embryonic and larval lethal phenotypes, but the phenotypes observed are less severe compared to the phenotypes of san-1(ok1580);hcp-1(RNAi) animals. Both san-1(ok1580);hcp-1(RNAi) and san-1(ok1580);hcp-2(RNAi) produce eggs that may hatch; but san-1(ok1580):hcp-1(RNAi) larvae do not survive to adulthood due to defects caused by aberrant chromosome segregations during development. Y54G9A.6 encodes the C. elegans homolog of bub-3, and has spindle checkpoint function. In C.elegans, bub-3 has genetic interactions with san-1 and mdf-2. An RNAi screen for genetic interactions with bub-3 identified that F31F6.3 may potentially have a genetic interaction with bub-3. This work provided genetic evidence that hcp-1, hcp-2 and F31F6.2 interact with spindle checkpoint genes.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Stewart, Neil
Partner: UNT Libraries

Nucleotide Sequence of xylE from the TOL pDK1 Plasmid and Structural Comparison with Isofunctional Catechol-2,3-Dioxygenase Genes from TOL pWW0 and NAH7

Description: Article on the nucleotide sequence of xylE from the TOL pDK1 plasmid and structural comparison with isofunctional catechol-2,3-dioxygenase genes from TOL pWW0 and NAH7.
Date: April 1991
Creator: Benjamin, Robert C.; Voss, John A. & Jiang, Shikun
Partner: UNT College of Arts and Sciences

Photoactivatable Quantum Dots in Super-Resolution Microscopy of Muscle

Description: Super-resolution 3D imaging was achieved using newly synthesized photoactivatable quantum dot (PAQ dot) probes. Quantum dots were modified with a novel quencher system to make them photoactivatable. The unique properties of these PAQ dots enable single-fluorophore localization in three dimensions using a confocal microscopy optical sectioning method. Myosin and tropomyosin of rabbit myofibrilar bundles were specifically labeled with the newly synthesized PAQ dot. A sufficient number of single quantum dots were photoactivated, localized and reduced to their centroid and then reconstructed to a super-resolution image. The acquired super-resolution image shows a lateral and an axial sub-diffraction resolution and demonstrates ultrafine striations with widths less than 70 nm that are not evident by conventional confocal microscopy. The striations appear to be related to nebulin thin filament binding protein. This newly developed imaging system is cutting edge for its high resolution and localization as well its simplicity and convenience.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Akel, Amal
Partner: UNT Libraries

Molecular cloning and analysis of the genes for cotton palmitoyl-acyl carrier protein thioesterase (PATE) and Δ-12 fatty acid desaturase (FAD2-3) and construction of sense and anti-sense PATE plasmid vectors for altering oilseed composition of transgenic cotton plants.

Description: A cotton PATE cDNA clone has a 1.7-kb insert with an coding region for 410 amino acids, lacking codons for the three N-terminal amino acids. The predicted amino acid sequence of the PATE preprotein has a characteristic stromal-targeting domain and a 63% identity to the Arabidopsis FatB1 thioesterase sequence. A cotton genomic clone containing a 17.4-kb DNA segment was found to encompass a palmitoyl-ACP thioesterase (FatB1) gene. The gene spans 3.6 kb with six exons and five introns. The six exons are identical in nucleotide sequence to the open reading frame of the corresponding cDNA, and would encode a preprotein of 413 amino acids. The preprotein is identified as a FatB thioesterase from its deduced amino acid sequence similarity to those of other FatB thioesterase preproteins. A 5'-flanking region of 914 bp was sequenced, with the potential promoter/enhancer elements including basic helix-loop-helix elements (E box). Alkaline blot hybridization of cotton genomic DNA suggests the presence at least two FatB1 thioesterase genes in cotton. Four plasmid constructs for both constitutive and seed-specific anti-sense RNA suppression and gene-transgene co- suppression of PATE gene expression were successfully generated. Two overlapping cotton genomic clones were found to encompass a Δ-12 fatty acid desaturase (FAD2-3) gene. The continuous FAD2-3 coding region is 1,155 bp and would encode a protein of 384 amino acids. The FAD2-3 gene has one large intron of 2,967 bp entirely within its 5'-untranslated region. Several potential promoter/enhancer elements, including several light responsive motifs occur in the 5'-flanking region. Yeast cells transformed with a plasmid construct containing the cotton FAD2-3 coding region accumulate an appreciable amount of linoleic acid (18:2), not normally present in wild-type yeast cells, indicating that the gene encodes a functional FAD2 enzyme.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Nampaisansuk, Mongkol
Partner: UNT Libraries

Functional Neural Toxicity and Endocrine Responses in Mice Following Naphthalene Exposure

Description: Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a well studied and diverse class of environmental toxicants. PAHs act via the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), and studies have suggested that PAHs may elicit neurological and estrogenic effects. Doses of PAHs between 50 to 150 ppm may elicit neurotoxicity in rodent models. The present study investigated the effects of naphthalene on in vivo steroidogenesis in Swiss Webster male mice, and in vitro neural function of Balb-C/ICR mice frontal cortex neurons. These data suggest that naphthalene may not elicit steroidogenic effects at concentrations ranging from 0.2 to 25 mg/kg/day, following a 7 day subcutaneous dosing regime. In addition, naphthalene may cause functional toxicity of frontal cortex neurons at concentrations of 32 to 160 ppm naphthalene.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Colbert, Crystal
Partner: UNT Libraries

Characterization of the OCT Plasmid-Encoded Mercury Resistance Genetic Locus in Pseudomonas putida

Description: A 17.1 Kb genetic element encoding for mercury resistance (OCT-Hg^r) was shown to translocate from its original location on the OCT plasmid to the resistance plasmid, RPl, in Pseudomonas putida. Analysis of RPl-Hg^r recombinant plasmids revealed that insertion of mercury resistance genes into RPl could occur at a variety of sites, with all recombinants having common EcoRI restriction fragments of 9.4, 3.8, 2.3, and 1.6 Kb, derived from the insertion. Hybridization analysis suggested the existence of extensive homology between this insertion and the prototypic mercury resistance transposon, Tn501, as well as the location of a similar merA sequence. Although the overall size was shown to be quite different from Tn501, striking physical similarities are shared between these two elements.
Date: May 1989
Creator: Armbruster, Steven C. (Steven Christopher)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Structural Analysis of the Genes Encoding the Oxalocrotonate Branch of the Pseudomonas putida TOL Plasmid pDKI meta-cleavage Pathway and the Expression of the xy1G Gene Product in Escherichia coli

Description: Three overlapping DNA fragments from the lower operon of Pseudomonas putida TOL plasmid pDK1, covering the xy1IH genes and downstream flanking region, were cloned into pUC19. They include a 2.8 kbp XhoI fragment, a 2.7 kbp PstI fragment and a 2.0 kbp EcoRI-HindIII fragment. They were subjected to DNA sequence analysis. The xy1I (4-oxalocrotonate decarboxylase) and xy1H (4-oxalocrotonate tautomerase) genes were found to possess coding regions of 792 and 189 nucleotides, respectively. A possible transcriptional terminator resembling E. coli rho-independent terminators was identified downstream of the translational stop of xy1H. An additional stem and loop structure was found in the intergenic region between xy1I and xy1H. The individual ORF's of the oxalocrotonate branch (xy1G, xy1I and xy1H) have been cloned into pUC18/19. The expression of the xy1G gene in E. coli was successfully assayed spectrophotometrically.
Date: December 1992
Creator: Luo, Xuebin
Partner: UNT Libraries

Adenylate Energy Charge Determinations of Soil Bacteria Grown in Soil Extract Medium

Description: The adenylate energy charge values of twenty bacteria isolated from soil and cultured in a medium consisting of soil and distilled water were determined by the luciferin-luciferase bioluminescense method. The purpose of this study was to examine the growth and energy charge values of these organisms in soil extract medium, and to determine what effect the addition of glucose has on their energy charge values. Three of the organisms employed in this study showed energy charge values similar to those reported for bacteria grown in enriched media. The remainder of the isolates demonstrated low energy charge values, and scant growth in the soil medium.
Date: August 1988
Creator: Rodriguez, Luis A. (Luis Antonio)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Environmental Correlates to Genetic Variation in the Coral Reef Fish, Thalassoma bifasciatum

Description: Genetic variation was examined in bluehead wrasse, Thalassoma bifasciatum, populations along the Florida Keys. Interpretion of mean heterozygosity (H), percent polymorphic loci per population (P), genetic similarity, and F and G statistics demonstrated a clear division of wrasse populations into "northern" and "southern" groups. Correlation and cluster analyses indicated the six reefs can be grouped in a similar fashion based on genetic and environmental data. The conclusion from this analysis of wrasse populations in the Florida Keys is that substantial population subdivision occurs in response to differing selective pressures created by heterogeneous environments.
Date: December 1988
Creator: Pirkle, Michelle S. (Michelle Serpas)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Site Directed Mutagenesis Of Dienelactone Hydrolase

Description: The role of individual amino acid residues of the enzyme dienelactone hydrolase was investigated. Using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), a 1.9 kbp clcD fragment was amplified and subcloned yielding a 821 bp BamHI to EcoRI clcD subclone in the plasmid pUC19. Site-specific mutants of dienelactone hydrolase were created using mismatched oligonucleotides to prime DNA synthesis. Specifically modified proteins from mutated clcD genes (Arg 81 to alanine, Tyr 85 to phenylalanine and Arg 206 to alanine), were encoded by the mutant clones. Enzyme assays showed that dienelactone hydrolase activity of the mutants Arg 81 and Arg 206 was totally abolished. The DLHase enzyme activity of mutant Tyr 85 is greatly decreased by approximately two thirds.
Date: December 1992
Creator: Chen, Wei, 1965-
Partner: UNT Libraries

Molecular and biochemical characterization of phospholipase D in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L) seedlings.

Description: N-Acylethanolamines (NAEs) are enriched in seed-derived tissues and are believed to be formed from the membrane phospholipid, N-acylphosphatidylethanolamine (NAPE) via the action of phospholipase D (PLD). In an effort to identify a functional NAPE-PLD in cotton seeds and seedlings, we have screened a cotton seedling cDNA (cotyledon mRNA from 48 h dark grown seedlings) library with a 1.2 kb tobacco partial cDNA fragment encoding the middle third of a putative PLDβ/γ (genbank accession, AF195614) isoform. Six plaques were isolated from the Uni-ZAP lambda library, excised as pBluescript SK(-) phagemids and subjected to nucleotide sequence analysis. Alignment of derived sequences with Arabidopsis PLD family members indicated that the cDNAs represent six different PLD gene products -three putative PLD β isoforms and three putative PLD δ isoforms. The PLD β isoforms, designated Ghpldβ1a, GHpldβ1b and a truncated Ghpldβ1b isoform. Both the full-length PLD β proteins contained characteristic HKxxxxD catalytic domains, a PC-binding domain, a PIP2-binding domain and a C2 domain. In addition both cotton PLD β isoforms had a N-terminal "SPQY" rich domain which appeared to be unique to these PLDs. The three PLD δ isoforms, designated Ghpldδ1a, Ghpldδ1b and Ghpldδ1b-2 encode full-length PLDδ proteins, and like the above PLDs, contained the characteristic catalytic and regulatory domains. The expression of Ghpldδ1b showed hydrolytic and transphosphatidylation activity toward radiolabelled phosphatidylcholine (PC) but it appears Ghpldδ1b does not utilize NAPE as a substrate to produce NAEs nor does it seem to be suppressed by NAEs.
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Date: May 2005
Creator: McHugh, John
Partner: UNT Libraries

Microsatellite-based genetic profiling for the management of wild and captive flamingo populations.

Description: Flamingo species generate tremendous interest whether they are small captive groups or wild populations numbering in the thousands. Genetic pedigrees are invaluable for maintaining maximum genetic diversity in captive, as well as wild, populations. However, presently there is a general lack of genetic data for flamingo populations. Microsatellites are loci composed of 2-6 base pair tandem repeats, scattered throughout higher eukaryotic genomes, often exhibiting high levels of polymorphism and heterozygosity. These loci are thus important genetic markers for identity, parentage and population studies. Here, six microsatellite loci were isolated from a microsatellite-enriched Caribbean flamingo partial genomic library. Two are compound complex repeats and four are perfect trinucleotide repeats. Each locus was amplified from Caribbean, African greater, Chilean and lesser flamingo genomic DNAs. Heterozygosity frequencies were calculated for Caribbean (range 0.12-0.90) and African greater flamingos (range 0.23-0.94) loci. All six microsatellite loci were found to be in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and linkage disequilibrium analyses did not suggest linkage for any pair of two greater flamingo subspecies (African and Caribbean) loci. At least five of the loci also exhibit polymorphism in Chilean and lesser flamingos, but due to small sample numbers, relevant allele/heterozygosity frequency calculations could not be estimated. Nucleotide sequence comparisons of the amplicons derived from the four flamingo groups reveal a high level of sequence conservation at all loci. Although small sample numbers again limit the data for lesser flamingos and to some degree for the Chilean birds, the sequences of the two greater flamingo subspecies were identical and the number of nonconserved nucleotides appears to be higher for lesser/greater comparisons than for Chilean/greater comparisons. This is consistent with Chilean flamingos being a different species within the same genus as the greater flamingos, while lesser flamingos belong to a separate genus. Parentage analyses on suggested African greater flamingo family groups from ...
Date: December 2005
Creator: Kapil, Richa
Partner: UNT Libraries

Pyrimidine Nucleoside Metabolism in Pseudomonads and Enteric Bacteria

Description: Metabolic differences in the strategies used for pyrimidine base and nucleoside salvage were studied in the pseudomonads and enteric bacteria. Fluoro--analogs were used to select mutant strains of E. coli, S. typhimurium, P. putida, and P. aeruginosa blocked in one or more of the uracil and uridine salvage enzymes. HPLC analysis of cell-free extracts from wild-type and mutant strains examined the effectiveness of the selections. Evidence was found for cytidine kinase in Pseudomonas and for an activity that converted uracil compounds to cytosine compounds. Using media supplemented with 150 μg of orotic acid per ml, P. putida SOC 1, a Pyr, upp mutant which utilizes orotic acid as a pyrimidine source was isolated for the first time in any study.
Date: December 1991
Creator: Scott, Allelia Worrall
Partner: UNT Libraries

Mutagenized HLA DNA Constructs: Tools for Validating Molecular HLA Typing Methodologies

Description: This study describes the development and validation of mutagenized cloned DNA constructs, which correspond to the polymorphic regions of the class II region of the HLA complex. The constructs were used to verify the allelic specificity of primers and probes in polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based HLA typing assays such as Sequence Specific Primers (SSP) and Sequence Specific Oligonucleotide Probes (SSOP). The constructs consisted of the entire polymorphic region of exon 2 of class II HLA allele sequences that included primer annealing sites or probe hybridization sites. An HLA allele sequence was inserted into a plasmid, cloned, then mutagenized to match a specific HLA allele, and finally, the correct clone was verified by bidirectional sequencing of the insert. Thus, the construct created a cloned reference DNA sample for any specific allele, and can be used to validate the accuracy of various molecular methodologies.
Date: May 1999
Creator: Schulte, Kathleen Q.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Physical Map between Marker 8O7 and 146O17 on the Medicago truncatula Linkage Group 1 that Contains the NIP Gene

Description: The Medicago truncatula NIP gene is located on M. truncatula Linkage Group 1. Informative recombinants showed crossovers that localize the NIP gene between markers 146O17 and 23C16D. Marker 164N9 co-segregates with the NIP gene, and the location of marker 164N9 is between markers 146O17 and 23C16D. Based upon data from the Medicago genome sequencing project, a subset of the model legume Medicago truncatula bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs) were used to create a physical map on the DNA in this genetic internal. BACs near the potential NIP gene location near marker 164N9 were identified, and used in experiments to predict the physical map by a BAC-by-BAC strategy. Using marker 164N9 as a center point, and chromosome walking outward, the physical map toward markers 146O17 and 23C16D was built. The chromosome walk consisted of a virtual walk, made with existing sequence of BACs from the Medicago genome project, hybridizations to filters containing BAC DNA, and PCR reactions to confirm that predicted overlapping BACs contained DNA that yielded similar PCR products. In addition, the primers which are made for physical mapping via PCR could be good genetic markers helpful in discovering the location of the NIP gene. As a result of efforts repotted here, gap in physical map between marker 164N9 and 146O17 was closed.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Lee, Yi-Ching
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

Molecular Cloning and Functional Analysis of Transposable Mercury Resistance Genes Encoded by the OCT Plasmid

Description: Translocation of a 17.1 kilobase region of the OCT plasmid encoding mercury resistance (mer) in Pseudomonas putida was shown to occur in a recombination-deficient host with plasmid PP1 serving as a recipient replicon. The frequency of transposition in Pseudomonas was estimated at 10^3 -10 -^2, but undetectable in Escherichia soli. ' DNA comprising all of mr as well as subregions there of were cloned and subjected to DNA sequence analysis. Like other transposons, mer was found to contain inverted repeat sequences at its termini. These were similar to, but not identical to the inverted repeat structures found in the prototypical mercury resistance transposon Tn501 from E. aeruginosa.
Date: August 1991
Creator: Wang, Chien-Sao
Partner: UNT Libraries

Regulation of an S6/H4 Kinase in Crude Lymphosarcoma P1798 Preparations

Description: Purified S6/H4 kinase (Mr 60,000) requires autophosphorylation for activation. A rabbit anti-S6/H4 kinase peptide (SVIDPVPAPVGDSHVDGAAK) antibody recognized both the S6/H4 kinase holoenzyme and catalytic domain. Immunoreactivity with p60 kinase protein, and S6/H4 kinase activity were precisely correlated in fractions obtained from ion exchange chromatography of P1798 lymphosarcoma extracts. An enzyme which catalyzed the MgATP-dependent phosphorylation and activation of S6/H4 kinase coeluted with immunoreactivity from Mono 5, but not Mono Q chromatography. Since S6/H4 kinase is homologous with rac-activated PAK65, the observation that phosphorylation is also required for activation suggests a complex mechanism for in vivo activation of the S6/H4 kinase.
Date: December 1998
Creator: Taylor, Allison Antoinette
Partner: UNT Libraries

Rapid Isolation and Purification of Plasmid DNA Using High Performance Liquid Chromatography

Description: High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) has been employed as an analytical tool for the purification and separation of nucleic acids. A Nucleogen DEAE 4000-10 weak anion exchange column, prepacked with modified silica gels, was used to purify and separate a number of Escherichia coli plasmids. Plasmid DNAs were extracted by the alkaline lysis method. The cleared lysate was injected directly onto the Nucleogen column, and the peaks were collected, desalted and analysed by gel electrophoresis. On the chromatogram, the pBR322 formed a distinctive peak at 27 minutes and partial separation was made for the E. coli V517 plasmids. Plasmid pBR322 showed a clear band without any detectable contamination on agarose gel. This purified plasmid DNA is biologically active for enzymatic reaction commonly used in genetic engineering techniques.
Date: May 1987
Creator: Nam, Kiebang
Partner: UNT Libraries

Mouse cortical cholinergic neurons: Ontogeny of phenotypes in vivo and in vitro.

Description: The development of cholinergic neurons in mouse frontal cortex was studied both in vivo and in vitro by immunocytochemistry with an antibody to choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), the enzyme responsible for acetylcholine synthesis. While cortical cholinergic neurons have previously been characterized in rat cortex, up until very recently, intrinsic cortical cholinergic neurons were considered to be absent in mouse, and little is known about their development or phenotypic characteristics. The present study found no ChAT-positive neurons in mouse frontal cortex on postnatal day 0 (P0, the day of birth). On P7 there were few, faintly stained, ChAT-positive neurons. The numerical density of ChAT-positive neurons increased substantially with age, from none on P0, to 9.2 + 1.4 on P7, to 14.8 + 0.9 on P16, and 41.6 + 3.9 in adulthood. Considering that the numerical density of total neurons decreases during this postnatal period, the data represent a marked developmental increase in the percentage of cholinergic neurons. The development of cholinergic neurons showed very similar timelines in rat and mouse frontal cortex. Cultures prepared from mouse frontal cortex on embryonic day 16 were maintained for 25, 76, or 100 days in vitro (div). The percentage of ChAT-positive neurons was considerably higher than in vivo, ranging from a mean 28% to 31% across the three age (div) groups. With increasing age of the cultures, the numerical density of total neurons and ChAT-positive neurons decreased while the percentage of ChAT-positive neurons did not change significantly. These observations suggest some temporal stability in the cultures. Using dual immunofluorescence, ChAT-positive neurons were tested for colocalization with GAD or TH. The majority of ChAT-positive neurons colocalized with GAD, both in vitro and in vivo. However, ChAT did not colocalize with TH, either in vitro or in vivo. Our comparison of intact frontal cortex and cultures suggest that ...
Date: August 2005
Creator: Coiculescu, Olivia Elena
Partner: UNT Libraries

Isolation of a Pseudomonas aeruginosa Aspartate Transcarbamoylase Mutant and the Investigation of Its Growth Characteristics, Pyrimidine Biosynthetic Enzyme Activities, and Virulence Factor Production

Description: The pyrimidine biosynthetic pathway is an essential pathway for most organisms. Previous research on the pyrimidine pathway in Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PAO1) has shown that a block in the third step of the pathway resulted in both a requirement for exogenous pyrimidines and decreased ability to produce virulence factors. In this work an organism with a mutation in the second step of the pathway, aspartate transcarbamoylase (ATCase), was created. Assays for pyrimidine intermediates, and virulence factors were performed. Results showed that the production of pigments, haemolysin, and rhamnolipids were significantly decreased from PAO1. Elastase and casein protease production were also moderately decreased. In the Caenorhabditis elegans infection model the nematodes fed the ATCase mutant had increased mortality, as compared to nematodes fed wild type bacteria. These findings lend support to the hypothesis that changes in the pyrimidine biosynthetic pathway contribute to the organism's ability to effect pathogenicity.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Hammerstein, Heidi Carol
Partner: UNT Libraries

Impaired virulence factor production in a dihydroorotate dehydrogenase mutant (pyrD) of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Description: Previous research in our laboratory showed that when knockout mutations were created in the pyrB and pyrC genes of the pyrimidine pathway in Pseudomonas aeruginosa, not only were the resultant mutants auxotrophic for pyrimidines but they were also impaired in virulence factor production. Such a correlation had not been previously reported for P. aeruginosa, a ubiquitous opportunistic pathogen in humans. In an earlier study it was reported that mutants blocked in one of the first three enzymes of the pyrimidine pathway in the non-pathogenic strain P. putida M produced no pyoverdin pigment while mutants blocked in the later steps produced copious amounts of pigment, just like the wild type. This study probed for the same connection between pyrimidine auxotrophy and pigment production applied in P. aeruginosa. To that end a knockout mutation was created in pyrD, the fourth step in the pyrimidine pathway which encodes dihydroorotate dehydrogenase. The resulting mutant required pyrimidines for growth but produced wild type pigment levels. Since the pigment pyoverdin is a siderophore it may also be considered a virulence factor, other virulence factors were quantified in the mutant. These included casein protease, hemolysin, elastase, swimming, swarming and twitching motility, and iron binding capacity. In all cases these virulence factors were significantly decreased in the mutant. Even supplementing with uracil did not attain wild type levels. Starvation of the pyrimidine mutant for uracil caused increased specific activity of the pyrimidine enzymes, suggesting that regulation of the pyrimidine pathway occurred at the level of transcription. This effect has also been reported for P. oleovorans. The present research consolidates the idea that pyrimidine auxotrophs cause decreased pathogenicity in P. aeruginosa. Such a finding may open the search for chemotherapy targets in cystic fibrosis and burn victims where P. aeruginosa is an infecting agent.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Ralli, Pooja
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Role of the Actin Cytoskeleton in Asymmetric Cell Division in Maize

Description: Stomata are specialized plant structures required for gaseous exchange with the outer environment. During stomata formation, the cytoskeleton plays an important role in controlling the division of the individual cells leading to the generation of the stomata complex. Two mutants that affect microfilament and microtubule organization in subsidiary mother cells include brk1 and dcd1. While only 20% of the subsidiary cells in the brk1 and dcd1 single mutants are abnormally shaped, it was reported that there is a synergistic effect between the brk1 and dcd1 mutations in the brk1; dcd1 double mutant since 100% of the subsidiary cells are abnormal. The focus of this research is to try to understand this synergistic effect by investigating the actin cytoskeleton and nuclear position in the single and double mutants. The reported results include the observation that the size of actin patch was largest in the wild-type subsidiary mother cells (SMCs) and smallest in dcd1 and brk1; dcd1 SMCs and that brk1 and brk1; dcd1 double mutants had fewer actin patches than wild-type and dcd1 SMCs. Additionally, we observed that some SMCs that did not have actin patches still underwent nuclear migration suggesting that nuclear migration may not be solely dependent on actin patch formation. Finally, during SMC cytokinesis, a large percentage of double mutant (brk1; dcd1) cells showed an off-track development of the phragmoplast as compared to the single mutants and the wild-type plant explaining the large number of abnormally shaped subsidiary cells in the double mutants.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Alhassan, Hassan Hamdan
Partner: UNT Libraries