Title

Investigating the role of inorganic phosphate in the survival of the bacteria that cause Lyme Disease

Presenter Information

Bonnie Long

Presentation Type

Poster

Abstract

Lyme disease, a bacterial infection transmitted by ticks, affects approximately 300,000 individuals in the United States each year. Borrelia burgdorferi, the disease causing bacteria, survive by alternating between a tick vector and mammalian host. B. burgdorferi can detect changes in environmental conditions and subsequently regulate the expression of its genes in order to survive in these two different host environments. Research is being conducted to determine the mechanisms in which B. burgdorferi imports essential phosphate, as well as how changes in environmental phosphate levels affect gene expression. One of the genes involved in the uptake of phosphate is called pstB. The objective of this project is to investigate how different phosphate levels affect expression of the pstB gene and in turn, import of phosphate. The methodology for this project has involved genetically modifying genes and regulatory DNA sequences in E. coli, which will eventually be introduced into B. burgdorferi. Once the DNA has been successfully transformed into B. burgdorferi, the bacteria will be exposed to an environment with limited phosphate. Research into the molecular mechanisms that B. burgdorferi uses to survive in its different host environments, may ultimately provide additional understanding ofthe mechanism of transmission of Lyme disease.

Category

Life Sciences

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Apr 17th, 11:00 AM Apr 17th, 12:00 PM

Investigating the role of inorganic phosphate in the survival of the bacteria that cause Lyme Disease

UC South Ballroom

Lyme disease, a bacterial infection transmitted by ticks, affects approximately 300,000 individuals in the United States each year. Borrelia burgdorferi, the disease causing bacteria, survive by alternating between a tick vector and mammalian host. B. burgdorferi can detect changes in environmental conditions and subsequently regulate the expression of its genes in order to survive in these two different host environments. Research is being conducted to determine the mechanisms in which B. burgdorferi imports essential phosphate, as well as how changes in environmental phosphate levels affect gene expression. One of the genes involved in the uptake of phosphate is called pstB. The objective of this project is to investigate how different phosphate levels affect expression of the pstB gene and in turn, import of phosphate. The methodology for this project has involved genetically modifying genes and regulatory DNA sequences in E. coli, which will eventually be introduced into B. burgdorferi. Once the DNA has been successfully transformed into B. burgdorferi, the bacteria will be exposed to an environment with limited phosphate. Research into the molecular mechanisms that B. burgdorferi uses to survive in its different host environments, may ultimately provide additional understanding ofthe mechanism of transmission of Lyme disease.