Master of Science in Biochemistry
First Committee Member
Ernesto Abel‐Santos, Co-Chair
Second Committee Member
Ronald Gary, Co-Chair
Third Committee Member
Graduate Faculty Representative
Number of Pages
Bacillus species are rod-shaped, gram-positive bacteria that are capable of producing endospores. In this dormant stage, the endospores can persist in hostile physical and chemical environments. Once conditions become favorable, the spores germinate into actively dividing cells, vegetative cells. Germination is a crucial step for the pathogenicity of the Bacilli in affecting a host organism.
Our study applies mathematical approaches to spore germination to determine whether the binding of one germinant will affect the binding of another germinant. We pursued this approach with two different species, B. cereus and B. anthracis, both pathogenic organisms. B. cereus is a widely known food pathogen that causes foodborne illnesses. B. anthracis, anthrax, is most commonly known for the 2001 bioterrorism attacks.
Both B. cereus and B. anthracis germinate with a variety of amino acids and nucleosides. B. cereus was shown to have cooperative effects with inosine and L-alanine induced germination. We studied the effects of inosine and L-alanine germination in response to cooperative binding. We showed that allosteric cooperativity is seen with the inosine and L-alanine binding sites between the GerI and GerQ receptors. With B. anthracis, we used 10 different combinations of amino acid and nucleosides to understand the different pathways of germination response. We suggest a mechanism of binding that requires cooperativity among inosine with L-serine and inosine with Lmethionine binding.
Anthrax; Bacillus anthracis; Bacillus (Bacteria); Bacillus cereus; Bacterial spores; Inosine
Bacteriology | Biochemistry | Organic Chemistry
Luu, Helen, "Bacillus cereus and Bacillus anthracis germination kinetics: A Michaelis-Menten approach" (2010). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 347.