Project Title

Analysis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa predation by Myxococcus xanthus using confocal microscopy

Academic department under which the project should be listed

CSM - Molecular and Cellular Biology

Faculty Sponsor Name

Dr. Ramya Rajagopalan

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Myxococcus xanthus is a predatory bacterium that utilizes social interactions to hunt and digest prey bacteria. These bacteria swarm towards prey when they encounter them and they lyse the cells to absorbs nutrients. Myxococcus xanthus also have another unique behavior that in hostile environments they can form spores within fruiting bodies to help to keep the cells alive until nutrients reappear. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a gram-negative bacterium that is an opportunistic pathogen. This bacterium is a very common cause of nosocomial infections which include sepsis, urinary tract, surgical site, and chronic lung infections. Pseudomonas aeruginosa utilizes quorum sensing to communicate allowing it to grow and cause damage in humans with compromised immune systems. Within Pseudomonas aeruginosa species there are various strains that are resistant to multiple antibiotics which can cause severe complications in hospitalized patients. If we find ways to interrupt the biological processes of Pseudomonas aeruginosa that lead to infection this could help save countless lives from life-threatening nosocomial infections. Confocal Microscopy is a form of light microscopy that can help generate high resolution images. This is useful because we can use this microscope to look at fluorescent images of Pseudomonas aeruginosa to track live vs dead cells during myxobacterial predation. This would be done by using a mixture of SYTO-9 and propidium iodide dyes. SYTO-9 dye makes the cell fluoresce green when alive. When the cell is dead the red dye propidium iodide is absorbed through the disintergtating cell envelop into the cell making the cell fluoresce red. Investigating cell-to-cell interactions during predation of P. aeruginosa by Myxococcus xanthus could potentially lead to a new mechanism to combat Pseudomonas infections.

Project Type

Poster

How will this be presented?

Yes, in person

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Analysis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa predation by Myxococcus xanthus using confocal microscopy

Myxococcus xanthus is a predatory bacterium that utilizes social interactions to hunt and digest prey bacteria. These bacteria swarm towards prey when they encounter them and they lyse the cells to absorbs nutrients. Myxococcus xanthus also have another unique behavior that in hostile environments they can form spores within fruiting bodies to help to keep the cells alive until nutrients reappear. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a gram-negative bacterium that is an opportunistic pathogen. This bacterium is a very common cause of nosocomial infections which include sepsis, urinary tract, surgical site, and chronic lung infections. Pseudomonas aeruginosa utilizes quorum sensing to communicate allowing it to grow and cause damage in humans with compromised immune systems. Within Pseudomonas aeruginosa species there are various strains that are resistant to multiple antibiotics which can cause severe complications in hospitalized patients. If we find ways to interrupt the biological processes of Pseudomonas aeruginosa that lead to infection this could help save countless lives from life-threatening nosocomial infections. Confocal Microscopy is a form of light microscopy that can help generate high resolution images. This is useful because we can use this microscope to look at fluorescent images of Pseudomonas aeruginosa to track live vs dead cells during myxobacterial predation. This would be done by using a mixture of SYTO-9 and propidium iodide dyes. SYTO-9 dye makes the cell fluoresce green when alive. When the cell is dead the red dye propidium iodide is absorbed through the disintergtating cell envelop into the cell making the cell fluoresce red. Investigating cell-to-cell interactions during predation of P. aeruginosa by Myxococcus xanthus could potentially lead to a new mechanism to combat Pseudomonas infections.

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