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The molecular mechanism of surfactin immunity in B. subtilis

Rietkerk, Jolien (2018) The molecular mechanism of surfactin immunity in B. subtilis. Bachelor's Thesis, Life Science and Technology.


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The differentiation of cells into biofilms is a crucial step in the survival of a bacterial colony. In the gram-positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis this differentiation is interesting, as the behaviour of cells in communities might enlighten ways that bacteria behave like multicellular organisms. One of the differentiation pathways in B. subtilis is differentiation into matrix producing cells. ComX plays a major role in the molecular mechanism of the initiation of matrix production. ComX initiates surfactin production, which in turn inhibits the blockage of transcription of matrix related genes, activating the matrix production. Interestingly, recent research shows that surfactin producing cells are unable to respond to surfactin and become matrix producers. In other words: they become immune to surfactin. In this review I discuss a model of the molecular mechanism behind this surfactin immunity that was proposed by Lopez et al. (2009). I discuss several papers to validate this model, which lead to an improved model of surfactin immunity. Additionally, I describe how these papers clarify the interaction between Spo0A, MecA, ClpCP and gene transcription of sinI in the last step of the molecular mechanism of surfactin immunity.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Supervisor name: Scheffers, D.J.
Degree programme: Life Science and Technology
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2018
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2018 11:59

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