Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa) is a highly infectious opportunistic pathogen which can be deadly to those with compromised immune systems. Further, it is highly resistant to antibiotics and is frequently found contaminating medical equipment. Because the bacterium can be extremely detrimental to its hosts, a great deal of biological research on P. aeruginosa aims to find medical treatments to reduce or eliminate the virulence of P. aeruginosa. One approach taken to accomplish this task is to determine the genes that are responsible for producing pathogenic behaviors. Swarming is one behavior that is believed to be correlated with the bacteria’s virulence. The goal of our research was to identify the genes that could be associated with swarming and therefore virulence. Although we were successful in sequencing a single gene, the recurrence of this sequence in separate isolations suggested that a possible contamination had been introduced in our samples. Because of this, an extension of our research was done in order to create an internal control to reveal problems with our initial research design and to serve as a control in future experiments.
Kirsten Gierach, ’10 Fort Atkinson, WI
Major: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Erin Witek, ’10 Chicago, IL
Majors: Biochemistry and Molecule Biology, Psychology
Sponsor: Jeffery Cardon