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The role of the cvn operons and the small GTPase CvnD2 in polar growth and hyphal distribution in Streptomyces venezuelae

Ekdahl, Veronica (2018) MOBK01 20181
Degree Projects in Molecular Biology
Popular Abstract
The genetics of choosing your own path

The soil bacteria streptomycetes play a vital role in our modern society as key producers of antibiotics used to treat infections all over the world (Slonczewski, J. et al., 2017). As over 50% of the antibiotics produced for medical use originate from streptomycetes (Slonczewski, J. et al., 2017), it is fair to say that these bacteria make up an essential component in everyday healthcare and the battle against disease. Thus, research aiming to provide more knowledge about the mechanisms of growth in these highly commercialised bacteria have been a major focus during the last decades. To fully understand how streptomycetes grow and develop certain morphological traits, or shapes, the genomes of... (More)
The genetics of choosing your own path

The soil bacteria streptomycetes play a vital role in our modern society as key producers of antibiotics used to treat infections all over the world (Slonczewski, J. et al., 2017). As over 50% of the antibiotics produced for medical use originate from streptomycetes (Slonczewski, J. et al., 2017), it is fair to say that these bacteria make up an essential component in everyday healthcare and the battle against disease. Thus, research aiming to provide more knowledge about the mechanisms of growth in these highly commercialised bacteria have been a major focus during the last decades. To fully understand how streptomycetes grow and develop certain morphological traits, or shapes, the genomes of these bacteria needs to be investigated in an effort to find the genes involved in these processes.

It has long been known streptomycetes grow in a polarised manner, meaning that they extend from defined zones of growth at the tips of the cells (Fig.1). A complex of several interacting proteins, called the polarisome, mediate the growth in these zones. The polarisome is therefore responsible for generating the long branches, or hyphae, that in turn makes up an extensive network, called a mycelia, that spreads out into the soil and takes up nutrients (Flärdh, K. 2010). Nonetheless, little is still known about the proteins interacting with the polarisome and the genes encoding them.

In this study, we investigated the role of the protein CvnD2 in polar growth and branching in Streptomyces venezuelae. This was done by comparing the growth and shapes of mutant strains lacking the cvnD2 gene or longer genomic regions including this gene, called operons, to a wild-type strain without these mutations. We found that the hyphae of the mutant strains had a less bent and curly shape, as compared to the wild-type strain, and they also seemed to twine together and grow along the same path instead of spreading out in the medium (Fig.2). Furthermore, there was a significant decrease in branching in the mutant strains. Taken together, this suggests that the cvnD2 gene and the cvn-operons are involved in generating an undulating growth direction in S. venezuelae, as well as in branching. This, in turn, affects the ability of the bacteria to spread out in the medium and efficiently take up nutrients.

Bachelor’s degree project in Molecular biology 15 hp 2018
Department of Biology, Lund University Supervisor: Klas Flärdh
Department of Biology, Lund University (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Ekdahl, Veronica
supervisor
organization
course
MOBK01 20181
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
language
English
id
8952648
date added to LUP
2018-11-07 16:09:47
date last changed
2018-11-07 16:09:47
@misc{8952648,
  author       = {Ekdahl, Veronica},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The role of the cvn operons and the small GTPase CvnD2 in polar growth and hyphal distribution in Streptomyces venezuelae},
  year         = {2018},
}