Date of Award

Spring 4-19-2018

Document Type

Distinction Paper

Degree Name



Biology & Earth Science


Dr. Jennifer Bennett

First Committee Member

Jennifer Bennett

Second Committee Member

Jeffery Lehman

Third Committee Member

Simon Lawrance


Streptomyces, Conservon, Bacterial development, Antibiotics, Sporulation

Subject Categories

Molecular Biology | Molecular Genetics



Streptomyces coelicolor is a gram-positive Actinobacterium. It is a filamentous soil organism that performs complex multicellular development. Its physiological and morphological differentiation produces active secondary metabolite antibiotics that have pharmaceutical applications. Studies of S. coelicolor show that cyclic di-GMP proteins regulate physiological and morphological development. S. coelicolor has 13 copies of an operon that are collectively named “conservon” because they are highly conserved. The operons are named cvn1-13 and genes in each operon are denoted cvnA-D. RNA-Seq data of a cyclic di-GMP phosphodiesterase double mutant showed differential expression between wild type and many of the operons in the double mutant. Previous studies from other laboratories provide evidence that deleting the entire cvn7 operon may not exhibit a phenotypic change, but overexpressing one gene of the operon could. The objective of this study is to determine the function of S. coelicolor operon cvn7, specifically genes Sco6796 (cvnC7) and Sco6798 by analyzing overexpression mutants. Bioinformatics analyses of cvn7 have been performed including multiple sequence alignments, BLAST and protein domain maps. Concurrently, a transposon mutant of cvnD in another conservon operon of S. coelicolor has been used to analyze the function of the conservon. The analysis of the cvnD transposon mutant presented a phenotype with a difference in pigment production, and a spore formation defect. Distinct mutant phenotypes of each of these genes could shed light on the function of each gene, the complete conservon, and their possible role in development of S. coelicolor.