Project Title

Investigating the Role of Quorum Sensing in the Flight Response of Pseudomonas aeruginosa during Myxococcal Predation

Academic department under which the project should be listed

CSM - Molecular and Cellular Biology

Research Mentor Name

Ramya Rajagopalan

Abstract (300 words maximum)

The World Health Organization has released a list of pathogenic bacteria in need of novel therapeutic treatments. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is included in the highest category of the WHO urgency list due to its multidrug resistance and being a leading cause of nosocomial infections. A multi-pronged approach is required to combat Pseudomonas infections, including search for novel antimicrobials and alternative control measures. 50% of antibiotics originate from bacteria, with Myxobacteria being a source of novel antibiotics. Myxobacteria are single-celled predatory soil bacteria that exhibit social behavior. They are known for their cooperative group behavior that allows them to hunt in “wolf” packs. When in a critical state of survival, Myxobacterial cells aggregate into compact clusters containing spores called fruiting bodies, which assists them in surviving starvation conditions. We have observed a unique flight response in Pseudomonas aeruginosa during predation by Myxococcus xanthus complete or partial starvation conditions. However, preliminary data from our lab has shown mutated strains that correlate to certain quorum sensing pathways and motility-related genes in P. aeruginosa lack the flight response. It is important to note that quorum sensing regulates group behavior in Pseudomonas, making this a hard pathogen to combat. We will perform differential gene expression analysis using qRT-PCR inP.aeruginosa during Myxococcal predation and under solitary conditions. We hope to uncover the specific regulatory pathways involved in the mechanism of the flight-response. This information could potentially lead to alternative ways to counter the infectious Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Disciplines

Biology | Pathogenic Microbiology

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Investigating the Role of Quorum Sensing in the Flight Response of Pseudomonas aeruginosa during Myxococcal Predation

The World Health Organization has released a list of pathogenic bacteria in need of novel therapeutic treatments. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is included in the highest category of the WHO urgency list due to its multidrug resistance and being a leading cause of nosocomial infections. A multi-pronged approach is required to combat Pseudomonas infections, including search for novel antimicrobials and alternative control measures. 50% of antibiotics originate from bacteria, with Myxobacteria being a source of novel antibiotics. Myxobacteria are single-celled predatory soil bacteria that exhibit social behavior. They are known for their cooperative group behavior that allows them to hunt in “wolf” packs. When in a critical state of survival, Myxobacterial cells aggregate into compact clusters containing spores called fruiting bodies, which assists them in surviving starvation conditions. We have observed a unique flight response in Pseudomonas aeruginosa during predation by Myxococcus xanthus complete or partial starvation conditions. However, preliminary data from our lab has shown mutated strains that correlate to certain quorum sensing pathways and motility-related genes in P. aeruginosa lack the flight response. It is important to note that quorum sensing regulates group behavior in Pseudomonas, making this a hard pathogen to combat. We will perform differential gene expression analysis using qRT-PCR inP.aeruginosa during Myxococcal predation and under solitary conditions. We hope to uncover the specific regulatory pathways involved in the mechanism of the flight-response. This information could potentially lead to alternative ways to counter the infectious Pseudomonas aeruginosa.