Presentation Title

Deciphering the competitive mechanism between bacterial species

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Location

HUB 302-26

Type of Presentation

Poster

Abstract

Bacteria live in communities where they compete with each other for nutrients and space. We are studying the competitive behavior of Serratia marcescens, gram-negative bacteria that live in various environments including soil and the digestive tracts of animals. We are working with two different strains, one of which was isolated from the community garden at our campus. We performed competition assays of S. marcescens with Escherichia coli in LB broth. We found that both strains of S. marcescens inhibited the growth of E. coli when grown together in co-culture. However, the level of inhibition varied depending on S. marcescens strain. Interestingly, S. marcescens did not inhibit the growth of the gram-negative bacteria Enterobacter aerogenes. Currently we are investigating the mechanism(s) used by S. marcescens to outcompete E. coli. In order to determine the mechanism(s) used by S. marcescens we performed PCR to verify if a Type VI Secretion System was present in our different bacteria. The Type VI Secretion System is a mechanism used by gram-negative bacteria to directly inject effector proteins into target cells of other bacteria. Through analysis of the PCR results by gel electrophoresis, we found that both our S. marcescens strains and E. coli have genes from the Type VI Secretion System present in their genomic DNA.

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Nov 12th, 1:00 PM Nov 12th, 2:00 PM

Deciphering the competitive mechanism between bacterial species

HUB 302-26

Bacteria live in communities where they compete with each other for nutrients and space. We are studying the competitive behavior of Serratia marcescens, gram-negative bacteria that live in various environments including soil and the digestive tracts of animals. We are working with two different strains, one of which was isolated from the community garden at our campus. We performed competition assays of S. marcescens with Escherichia coli in LB broth. We found that both strains of S. marcescens inhibited the growth of E. coli when grown together in co-culture. However, the level of inhibition varied depending on S. marcescens strain. Interestingly, S. marcescens did not inhibit the growth of the gram-negative bacteria Enterobacter aerogenes. Currently we are investigating the mechanism(s) used by S. marcescens to outcompete E. coli. In order to determine the mechanism(s) used by S. marcescens we performed PCR to verify if a Type VI Secretion System was present in our different bacteria. The Type VI Secretion System is a mechanism used by gram-negative bacteria to directly inject effector proteins into target cells of other bacteria. Through analysis of the PCR results by gel electrophoresis, we found that both our S. marcescens strains and E. coli have genes from the Type VI Secretion System present in their genomic DNA.