Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Biological Sciences


Biological Sciences


Pat Fidopiastis


The primary contributor to Vibrio fischeri aminopeptidase activity is aminopeptidase N, PepN. Colonization assays revealed the pepN mutant strain to be deficient at forming dense aggregates and populating the host’s light organ compared to wildtype within the first 12 hours of colonization; however the mutant competed normally at 24 hours. To address the role of PepN in colonization initiation and establish additional phenotypes for the pepN mutant strain, stress response and other physiological assays were employed. Marked differences were found between pepN mutant and wildtype strain in response to salinity, acidity, and antibiotic tolerance. This study has provided a foundation for future work on identifying a putative role for V. fischeri PepN in regulating stress response.