Matching Items (21)

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Deletion of the α-(1,3)-Glucan Synthase Genes Induces a Restructuring of the Conidial Cell Wall Responsible for the Avirulence of Aspergillus fumigatus

Description

α-(1,3)-Glucan is a major component of the cell wall of Aspergillus fumigatus, an opportunistic human fungal pathogen. There are three genes (AGS1, AGS2 and AGS3) controlling the biosynthesis of α-(1,3)-glucan

α-(1,3)-Glucan is a major component of the cell wall of Aspergillus fumigatus, an opportunistic human fungal pathogen. There are three genes (AGS1, AGS2 and AGS3) controlling the biosynthesis of α-(1,3)-glucan in this fungal species. Deletion of all the three AGS genes resulted in a triple mutant that was devoid of α-(1,3)-glucan in its cell wall; however, its growth and germination was identical to that of the parental strain in vitro. In the experimental murine aspergillosis model, this mutant was less pathogenic than the parental strain. The AGS deletion resulted in an extensive structural modification of the conidial cell wall, especially conidial surface where the rodlet layer was covered by an amorphous glycoprotein matrix. This surface modification was responsible for viability reduction of conidia in vivo, which explains decrease in the virulence of triple agsΔ mutant.

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Date Created
  • 2013-11-14

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MTB-3, a Microtubule Plus-End Tracking Protein (+TIP) of Neurospora crassa

Description

The microtubule (MT) “plus end” constitutes the platform for the accumulation of a structurally and functionally diverse group of proteins, collectively called “MT plus-end tracking proteins” (+TIPs). +TIPs control MT

The microtubule (MT) “plus end” constitutes the platform for the accumulation of a structurally and functionally diverse group of proteins, collectively called “MT plus-end tracking proteins” (+TIPs). +TIPs control MT dynamics and link MTs to diverse sub-cellular structures. Neurospora crassa MicroTubule Binding protein-3 (MTB-3) is the homolog of yeast EB1, a highly conserved +TIP. To address the function of MTB-3, we examined strains with mtb-3 deletions, and we tagged MTB-3 with GFP to assess its dynamic behavior. MTB-3-GFP was present as comet-like structures distributed more or less homogeneously within the hyphal cytoplasm, and moving mainly towards the apex at speeds up to 4× faster than the normal hyphal elongation rates. MTB-3-GFP comets were present in all developmental stages, but were most abundant in mature hyphae. MTB-3-GFP comets were observed moving in anterograde and retrograde direction along the hypha. Retrograde movement was also observed as originating from the apical dome. The integrity of the microtubular cytoskeleton affects the presence and dynamics of MTB-3-GFP comets, while actin does not seem to play a role. The size of MTB-3-GFP comets is affected by the absence of dynactin and conventional kinesin. We detected no obvious morphological phenotypes in Δmtb-3 mutants but there were fewer MTs in Δmtb-3, MTs were less bundled and less organized. Compared to WT, both MT polymerization and depolymerization rates were significantly decreased in Δmtb-3. In summary, the lack of MTB-3 affects overall growth and morphological phenotypes of N. crassa only slightly, but deletion of mtb-3 has strong effect on MT dynamics.

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Date Created
  • 2013-08-12

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Development of fungicide resistance in the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

Description

Amphibians around the world are suffering the effects of the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Whenever amphibians are housed in captivity, they must go through a decontamination protocol to ensure

Amphibians around the world are suffering the effects of the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Whenever amphibians are housed in captivity, they must go through a decontamination protocol to ensure they are not infected with diseases such as Bd. Itraconazole is the most commonly used fungicide used in these protocols. This study set out to determine if Bd could develop resistance or tolerance to itraconazole. Two 24 well plates were prepared with different concentrations of itraconazole with Bd zoospores added. Plate 1 had concentrations similar to what animals are currently being treated with in decontamination protocols. Plate 2 had concentrations at and below the published minimum inhibitory concentration values (MIC). Plate 1 displayed the ability of itraconazole to kill Bd sporangia with higher concentrations and Plate 2 showed that even under published MIC values, Bd still struggled to complete its reproductive cycle. I find the evolution of a resistant/tolerant strain of Bd unlikely given the efficacy of this drug, the sensitivity of Bd to itraconazole, and the lack of evidence of the completion of Bd’s reproductive cycle under the conditions used in this study.

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  • 2019-05

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A Study of an Inclusion Observed Under Transmission Electron Microscopy in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803

Description

Transmission electron microscopy has been used to identify poly-3-hydroxybutyrate (PHB) granules in cyanobacteria for over 40 years. Electron-transparent (sometimes containing a slightly electron-dense area in the inclusions) or slightly electron-dense

Transmission electron microscopy has been used to identify poly-3-hydroxybutyrate (PHB) granules in cyanobacteria for over 40 years. Electron-transparent (sometimes containing a slightly electron-dense area in the inclusions) or slightly electron-dense spherical inclusions found in transmission electron micrographs of cyanobacteria are often assumed to be PHB granules. The aim of this study was to test this assumption in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803, and to determine whether all inclusions of this kind are indeed PHB granules. Based on the results gathered, it is concluded that not all of the slightly electron-dense spherical inclusions are PHB granules in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. This result is potentially applicable to other cyanobacteria.

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Date Created
  • 2013-05

Ceramic Sculpture Exploring the Debate Surrounding Animal Testing

Description

There is a wide intersection where animal and human lives interact or mimic each other behaviorally or biologically. A lot of the products that are part of our day-to-day were

There is a wide intersection where animal and human lives interact or mimic each other behaviorally or biologically. A lot of the products that are part of our day-to-day were first validated by animals, and eventually found their way to us. From food to beauty products to scientific developments, animals deal with a lot behind the scenes. Some humans are cognizant of what is happening backstage, while others only see the final presentation. Either way, all of us have our opinions in support or against animal treatment. The project is heavily inspired from my experience in a neurorehabilitation lab, so the foundation is similar to the structure and function of neurons. Through this project, I am focusing on one aspect of this debate, which is animal testing in the scietific setting. The goal of the project is not to force the viewer to choose one side, but to understand the big picture and the reasoning of the opposing side.

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Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Phenotypic Plasticity and Early Life Cycle Development of the Chytrid Fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

Description

The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has captured human attention because it is a pathogen that has contributed to global amphibian declines. Despite increased research, much is still unknown

The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has captured human attention because it is a pathogen that has contributed to global amphibian declines. Despite increased research, much is still unknown about how it develops. For example, the fact that Bd exhibits phenotypic plasticity during development was only recently identified. In this thesis, the causes of phenotypic plasticity in Bd are tested by exposing the fungus to different substrates, including powdered frog skin and keratin, which seems to play an important role in the fungus's colonization of amphibian epidermis. A novel swelling structure emerging from Bd germlings developed when exposed to keratin and frog skin. This swelling has not been observed in Bd grown in laboratory cultures before, and it is possible that it is analogous to the germ tube Bd develops in vivo. Growth of the swelling suggests that keratin plays a role in the phenotypic plasticity expressed by Bd.

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Date Created
  • 2016-05

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Analysis of Global Variance of the Thermal Maxima of an Amphibian Pathogen

Description

Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the amphibian chytrid fungus causing chytridiomycosis, is the cause of massive amphibian die-offs. As with any host-pathogen relationship, it is paramount to understand the growth and reproduction

Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the amphibian chytrid fungus causing chytridiomycosis, is the cause of massive amphibian die-offs. As with any host-pathogen relationship, it is paramount to understand the growth and reproduction of the pathogen that causes an infectious disease outbreak. The life-cycle of the pathogen, Bd, is strongly influenced by temperature; however, previous research has focused on Bd isolated from limited geographic ranges, and may not be representative of Bd on a global scale. My research examines the relationship between Bd and temperature on the global level to determine the actual thermal maximum of Bd. Six isolates of Bd, from three continents, were incubated at a temperature within the thermal range (21°C) and a temperature higher than the optimal thermal range (27°C). Temperature affected the growth and zoosporangium size of all six isolates of Bd. All six isolates had proliferative growth at 21°C, but at 27°C the amount and quality of growth varied per isolate. My results demonstrate that each Bd isolate has a different response to temperature, and the thermal maximum for growth varies with each isolate. Further understanding of the difference in isolate response to temperature can lead to a better understanding of Bd pathogen dynamics, as well as allow us the ability to identify susceptible hosts and environments before an outbreak.

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Date Created
  • 2016-12

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Characterization of a Polyclonal Antibody Specific for Synechococcus WH8102 Plastoquinol Terminal Oxidase.

Description

Photosynthesis is a critical process that fixes the carbon utilized in cellular respiration. In higher plants, the immutans gene codes for a protein that is both involved in carotenoid biosynthesis

Photosynthesis is a critical process that fixes the carbon utilized in cellular respiration. In higher plants, the immutans gene codes for a protein that is both involved in carotenoid biosynthesis and plastoquinol oxidation (Carol et al 1999, Josse et al 2003). This plastoquinol terminal oxidase (PTOX) is of great interest in understanding electron flow in the plastoquinol pool. In order to characterize this PTOX, polyclonal antibodies were developed. Expression of Synechococcus WH8102 PTOX in E. coli provided a useful means to harvest the protein required for antibody production. Once developed, the antibody was tested for limit of concentration, effectiveness in whole cell lysate, and overall specificity. The antibody raised against PTOX was able to detect as low as 10 pg of PTOX in SDS-PAGE, and could detect PTOX extracted from lysed Synechococcus WH8102. The production of this antibody could determine the localization of the PTOX in Synechococcus.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05

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Subcellular Compartmentalization and Trafficking of the Biosynthetic Machinery for Fungal Melanin

Description

Protection by melanin depends on its subcellular location. Although most filamentous fungi synthesize melanin via a polyketide synthase pathway, where and how melanin biosynthesis occurs and how it is deposited

Protection by melanin depends on its subcellular location. Although most filamentous fungi synthesize melanin via a polyketide synthase pathway, where and how melanin biosynthesis occurs and how it is deposited as extracellular granules remain elusive. Using a forward genetic screen in the pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus, we find that mutations in an endosomal sorting nexin abolish melanin cell-wall deposition. We find that all enzymes involved in the early steps of melanin biosynthesis are recruited to endosomes through a non-conventional secretory pathway. In contrast, late melanin enzymes accumulate in the cell wall. Such subcellular compartmentalization of the melanin biosynthetic machinery occurs in both A. fumigatus and A. nidulans. Thus, fungal melanin biosynthesis appears to be initiated in endosomes with exocytosis leading to melanin extracellular deposition, much like the synthesis and trafficking of mammalian melanin in endosomally derived melanosomes.

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Date Created
  • 2016-03-10

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Coronin Is a Component of the Endocytic Collar of Hyphae of Neurospora crassa and Is Necessary for Normal Growth and Morphogenesis

Description

Coronin plays a major role in the organization and dynamics of actin in yeast. To investigate the role of coronin in a filamentous fungus (Neurospora crassa), we examined its subcellular

Coronin plays a major role in the organization and dynamics of actin in yeast. To investigate the role of coronin in a filamentous fungus (Neurospora crassa), we examined its subcellular localization using fluorescent proteins and the phenotypic consequences of coronin gene (crn-1) deletion in hyphal morphogenesis, Spitzenkörper behavior and endocytosis. Coronin-GFP was localized in patches, forming a subapical collar near the hyphal apex; significantly, it was absent from the apex. The subapical patches of coronin colocalized with fimbrin, Arp2/3 complex, and actin, altogether comprising the endocytic collar. Deletion of crn-1 resulted in reduced hyphal growth rates, distorted hyphal morphology, uneven wall thickness, and delayed establishment of polarity during germination; it also affected growth directionality and increased branching. The Spitzenkörper of Δcrn-1 mutant was unstable; it appeared and disappeared intermittently giving rise to periods of hyphoid-like and isotropic growth respectively. Uptake of FM4-64 in Δcrn-1 mutant indicated a partial disruption in endocytosis. These observations underscore coronin as an important component of F-actin remodeling in N. crassa. Although coronin is not essential in this fungus, its deletion influenced negatively the operation of the actin cytoskeleton involved in the orderly deployment of the apical growth apparatus, thus preventing normal hyphal growth and morphogenesis.

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Date Created
  • 2012-05-31