Discipline: Biological Sciences
Tariq Johnson - Howard University
Co-Author(s): Mahtab Waseem and Patrick Ymele-Leki, Howard University, Washington, D.C.
Phosphoenolpyruvate-carbohydrate phosphotransferase system (PTS) is a chemical cascade that regulates the intake of sugars by microorganisms and controls biofilm formation. A biofilm is a multi-layer of bacterial cells that are connected with one another. Notwithstanding the control of sugar utilization and biofilm formation, the PTS manages a few other cell abilities, including chemotaxis, glycogen digestion system, and catabolite repression. Using a V. cholerae O139 strain, MO10, as the model organism, a chemical screen revealed compounds that have the ability to stall or prevent Vibrio cholerae growth and biofilm formation. In these experimental assays, bacterial growth in LB was assessed in microtiter plates while static biofilm development was evaluated in culture tubes. MO10 was grown in the absence of chemical compounds for use as a negative control. Meanwhile, a genetically altered strain, which lacked natural PTS activity, was used as the positive control. Biofilm reduction and bacterial inhibition was confirmed by monitoring the growth of V. cholerae in the presence of chemical compounds with spectrophotometry and weighing results against those of the controls. Further assays aim to characterize the mode of action and potency of candidate compounds. Successful completion of this project will allow us to identify and characterize new chemical agents that are capable of preventing or reducing biofilm formation. This could lead to the development of new bacterial resistance strategies, which are applicable in the realms of medicine, pharmacy, engineering, and biology.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): This study was supported by a grant from NSF (Research Initiation Award #1505301) awarded to Patrick Ymele-Leki PhD, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering, Howard University, Washington, DC 20059.
Faculty Advisor: Patrick Ymele-Leki, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: I completed the actually serial testing and development of the research project.