Graduation Year


Graduation Month


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

School or Department

Biological Sciences, Division of


Biology – Human Biological Sciences

Faculty Mentor

Brian Bothner


Biochemistry, Escherichia coli, lipids, cell wall, membrane, MALDI-MS

Subject Categories

Biochemistry | Cell Anatomy | Cell Biology


Escherichia coli is a highly studied model organism that is tightly tied to the mammalian gastrointestinal system. This microorganism has the capability to be a beneficial gut microbe or a life-threatening pathogen. In this study, the lipid membrane of Escherichia coli was investigated using Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization-Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) to observe the change in its composition in aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Evidence of desaturation was discovered in the spectra, though more investigation is needed to understand the metabolic processes and drives that result in this change. Elucidation of these pathways in the future could result in more targeted treatment of Escherichia coli infections. To accompany this study, a literature review of current and past knowledge of Escherichia coli was conducted, including information on its discovery, environmental adaptation and pathogenicity.

Honors College Research Project


GLI Capstone Project



© Copyright 2024 Isabelle Johnson