October 1, 2017.
Gene regulatory networks are thought to be a vital contribution to microbial resilience in a fluctuating environment. Known gene regulatory networks were utilized to elucidate how the sulfate-reducing bacteria Desulfovibro vulgaris regulates its survival in its relative fluctuating environment while evolving to form a symbiotic relationship with the archaeal organism, Methanococcus maripaludis. By using transposon gene knockout methods to form transcription factor mutants in Desulfovibro vulgaris, the effect on the regulatory network is observed when the bacteria is co-cultured with Methanococcus maripaludis. Transferring methods to simulate fluctuating environments were used to induce transcription of regulatory genes. To measure the extent of the relative gene effects, growth curves were made and sampling of RNA was done every five transfers to measure transcription levels. What was found was that cultures generally collapse after 3-7 transfers. After extractions and sequencing of mutant strains' RNA transcripts, the transcription level of relative genes will give insight to which genes are involved in regulation of survival and were active during stress responses.
Institute for Systems Biology (ISB)
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation through the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program under Grant # 1340110. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. The research was also made possible by the California State University STEM Teacher and Researcher Program, in partnership with Chevron (www.chevron.com), the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation (www.marinesanctuary.org), and Institute for Systems Biology.