Project Title

Flight response of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in predation by Myxococcus xanthus

Academic department under which the project should be listed

CSM - Molecular and Cellular Biology

Faculty Sponsor Name

Ramya Rajagopalan

Abstract (300 words maximum)

The search for alternative therapeutics is on the rise because of the threat of multi-drug resistant bacteria. One avenue of exploration is looking at the hunting strategy of bacterial micropredators. Myxobacteria are soil predators with a wide prey range. Using Myxococcus xanthus as a predator, we discovered a novel predation evasion behavior in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. P. aeruginosa is an opportunistic and nosocomial pathogen responsible for 10% of all hospital acquired infections. P. aeruginosa is also an ESKAPE pathogen. ESKAPE pathogens are the leading cause of nosocomial infections throughout the world, and most of them are multi drug resistant. The strain of Pseudomonas used in our lab is PAO1. This strain was isolated from a burn wound and exhibits resistance to multiple antibiotics. In our hands, most bacteria displayed a three-log reduction in numbers following myxobacterial predation. There was no change in Pseudomonas numbers under the same conditions. When standardized spots of Myxococcus and Pseudomonas were placed 1mm apart on partial starvation media, the Pseudomonas appeared to “flee” from the advancing myxobacteria horde. We did not observe this flight response in other pseudomonads. We are investigating the mechanism by which Pseudomonas can evade predation. We aim to utilize this knowledge in order to find alternative ways to eradicate Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Keywords; Myxococcus xanthus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, PAO1, micropredators, multi drug resistant, predation

Authors: Rajagopalan, Ramya., Lummus, Joshua., Buchli, Rachel.

Disciplines

Bacteria | Organisms

Project Type

Oral Presentation (15-min time slots)

How will this be presented?

Yes, in person

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Flight response of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in predation by Myxococcus xanthus

The search for alternative therapeutics is on the rise because of the threat of multi-drug resistant bacteria. One avenue of exploration is looking at the hunting strategy of bacterial micropredators. Myxobacteria are soil predators with a wide prey range. Using Myxococcus xanthus as a predator, we discovered a novel predation evasion behavior in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. P. aeruginosa is an opportunistic and nosocomial pathogen responsible for 10% of all hospital acquired infections. P. aeruginosa is also an ESKAPE pathogen. ESKAPE pathogens are the leading cause of nosocomial infections throughout the world, and most of them are multi drug resistant. The strain of Pseudomonas used in our lab is PAO1. This strain was isolated from a burn wound and exhibits resistance to multiple antibiotics. In our hands, most bacteria displayed a three-log reduction in numbers following myxobacterial predation. There was no change in Pseudomonas numbers under the same conditions. When standardized spots of Myxococcus and Pseudomonas were placed 1mm apart on partial starvation media, the Pseudomonas appeared to “flee” from the advancing myxobacteria horde. We did not observe this flight response in other pseudomonads. We are investigating the mechanism by which Pseudomonas can evade predation. We aim to utilize this knowledge in order to find alternative ways to eradicate Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Keywords; Myxococcus xanthus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, PAO1, micropredators, multi drug resistant, predation

Authors: Rajagopalan, Ramya., Lummus, Joshua., Buchli, Rachel.

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