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Title:Light Microscopy of a Sulfolobus islandicus Surface Layer Mutant
Author(s):Wipfler, Rebecca
Contributor(s):Zhang, Changyi; Whitaker, Rachel; IGB Core Facilities
Subject(s):Microbiology
Abstract:Sulfolobus islandicus is a thermophilic, single-celled organism of the domain Archaea. This organism can be found in geothermal springs around the world, living at around 80# C (156# F) and a pH of 2-3. Like other species of Archaea, S. islandicus has an outer protein surface layer (S-layer) surrounding the cell. This S-layer is composed of two protein subunits, Slayer protein A (SlaA) and S-layer protein B (SlaB). Our goal was to determine if the S-layer is needed for cell viability. The S-layer proteins were genetically removed, creating mutant cells lacking either SlaA, SlaB, or both. We then compared the phenotypes of the mutant cells to cells with an intact S-layer, referred to as wild-type cells. The use of light microscopy revealed the existence of large cellular aggregates of cells lacking SlaA, a phenomenon not seen in wild-type cells or cells with SlaB knocked out. As seen in the image, differences in cell sizes can also be observed in the aggregate, with smaller, more normal size cells on the outside and larger cells concentrated in the middle. The mechanisms and reasoning behind these characteristics are currently not understood and is the focus of ongoing research. Investigating these phenotypes will contribute towards understanding the physiological role surface layer proteins have in thermophilic organisms.
Issue Date:2017-04
Type:Text
Image
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/95921
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Rebecca Wipfler
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-04-20


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