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Development of tools to study the process of apical growth in Streptomyces coelicolor

Skyvell, Ted (2016) MOBK01 20161
Degree Projects in Molecular Biology
Popular Abstract
Understanding the bacterial growth process – apical growth

Have you ever thought about chopping yourself in half? Separating a limb maybe? If you haven’t – I don’t blame you – it would be pretty weird. But this isn’t about you or me – it’s about bacteria – and they are pretty weird. The different ways bacteria grow and proliferate are pretty diverse – one interesting, although a bit saner – is a growth process called apical growth. In order to explain what apical growth is I need to give you some background information. The bacterium Streptomyces coelicolor starts out as a spore – with branches emerging from the spore. These branches grow by tip extension, with lateral branching emerging from behind the tip – much as a mycelium. This... (More)
Understanding the bacterial growth process – apical growth

Have you ever thought about chopping yourself in half? Separating a limb maybe? If you haven’t – I don’t blame you – it would be pretty weird. But this isn’t about you or me – it’s about bacteria – and they are pretty weird. The different ways bacteria grow and proliferate are pretty diverse – one interesting, although a bit saner – is a growth process called apical growth. In order to explain what apical growth is I need to give you some background information. The bacterium Streptomyces coelicolor starts out as a spore – with branches emerging from the spore. These branches grow by tip extension, with lateral branching emerging from behind the tip – much as a mycelium. This way of growing – from the tip only – is called apical growth.
We are interested in how this process occurs. What we do know is that a protein called DivIVA is present in the growing tips – establishing apical growth. If you don’t know what a protein is, you could think of it as a molecule inside the cell, with a specific function. How DivIVA accomplishes this remains unclear. However, it has been hypothesized that DivIVA establishes apical growth by recruiting other proteins involved in the construction of the cell wall.
In order to find out if some of those cell-wall-building proteins are associated with growing hyphal tips, we tagged a few of those proteins in a way that allowed us to track where in the cell they localized. We found that one of the proteins tagged were present in many growing tips – indicating that the protein might be important for apical growth.
And why is this important? It doesn’t seem that important, does it? I’m going to use the argument that we always use to trick people into thinking that bacteria are actually important. Antibiotics.
On a more serious note. I’m sure you know how crucial antibiotics are, and that you have probably used it at least once – and it worked pretty well, right? You might also know that many of the antibiotics out there specifically target and interrupt the production or assembly of the bacterial cell wall. If we can learn more about the cell wall production in disease-causing bacteria – we can design new drugs – interfering with this process essential for many bacteria’s survival and combat disease.

Supervisor: Klas Flärdh
Bachelor´s Degree Project 15 credits in molecular biology
Department of biology, Lunds University (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Skyvell, Ted
supervisor
organization
course
MOBK01 20161
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
language
English
id
8894359
date added to LUP
2016-10-31 15:06:11
date last changed
2016-10-31 15:06:11
@misc{8894359,
  author       = {Skyvell, Ted},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Development of tools to study the process of apical growth in Streptomyces coelicolor},
  year         = {2016},
}