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Effects of Environmental Conditions on Pyocyanin Production in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

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Pyocyanin is a pigment produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa that acts as a virulence factor in helping this pathogen to establish chronic infection in the lungs of persons with cystic fibrosis

Pyocyanin is a pigment produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa that acts as a virulence factor in helping this pathogen to establish chronic infection in the lungs of persons with cystic fibrosis (CF). Then, as lung infections become chronic, P. aeruginosa tends to down-regulate pyocyanin production. The effects of environmental conditions, particularly temperature change, on pyocyanin production in P. aeruginosa has not been widely studied in the past. The goals of this project were twofold: First, we aim to identify how environmental conditions potentially present in the CF lungs affect pyocyanin pigment production in P. aeruginosa. Second, through the examination of effects of environmental changes, we aim to identify methods to modulate phenotypes of P. aeruginosa in order to identify putative biomarkers through metabolic analysis. This paper also identifies a newly derived pyocyanin culturing and extraction procedure that yields increased sensitivity for pyocyanin detection.
Through a liquid-liquid extraction procedure, pyocyanin was quantified in cultures that were incubated at 30°C, 37°C, and 40°C and in the presence of Staphylococcus aureus spent media. In addition, culturing methods for the measurement of pyocyanin under hypoxic conditions were analyzed. I hypothesized that environmental conditions such as temperature, co-infection with S. aureus, and oxygen depletion would influence pyocyanin production. It was found that overall, 30°C incubation produced statistically significant decrease in pyocyanin production compared with incubation at 37°C. These findings will help to determine how phenotypes are affected by conditions in the CF lung. In addition, these conclusions will help direct metabolic analysis and to identify volatile biomarkers of pyocyanin production for future use in breath-based diagnostics of CF lung infections.

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Date Created
  • 2016-12