Investigating Genetic Determinants of Growth in C. aerofaciens
The gut bacteria Collinsella aerofaciens has two coexisting growth phenotypes in culture, and my research will identify genes driving these phenotypes. C. aerofaciens is a large component of the human gut microbiome, and is able to ferment and metabolize different carbohydrate sources, making it a crucial part of human nutrient metabolism. Looking at variation in growth (pellet versus suspension) will allow me to better understand the ways in which the bacteria respond to different growing conditions. We will use a combination of gene expression analysis and a forward genetic screen to identify the genetic loci that are responsible for the observed differences in growth. This project will contribute new information regarding C. aerofaciens’ growth as a bacteria crucial for metabolism and digestion of certain compounds, and for repression and modulation of pathogenicity in the human gut. Understanding bacterial growth in the gut will provide information as to the role of bacterial dysbiosis in human disease, and we can use C. aerofaciens research as a template for the research of other, less understood members of the microbiome.
Message to Sponsor
- Major: Molecular and Cell Biology - Immunology
- Sponsor: Pergo Fund
- Mentor: Ashley Wolf