Date of Award


Document Type

Distinction Paper

Degree Name

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology-BS


Biology & Earth Science


Dr. Bennett

First Committee Member

Dr. Sinn

Second Committee Member

Dr. Birk


Streptomyces Coelicolor, Molecular Genetics, Streptomyces, Genetics

Subject Categories

Bioinformatics | Cell Biology | Genetics | Higher Education | Microbiology | Molecular Biology | Molecular Genetics


Streptomyces coelicolor is a filamentous, gram-positive bacterium that grows in the soil. With a life cycle similar to a fungus, it goes through hyphae and sporulation phases. One thing that the Streptomyces genus is especially known for is its antibiotic production; for S. coelicolor two of these antibiotics are undecylprodigiosin and actinorhodin (red and blue in color, respectively). Streptomyces is also known for producing other secondary metabolites, including antivirals and antitumor drugs. In this project, I have been working with five mutant strains of S. coelicolor: MIC43, MIC53, MIC71, TH10 and TH49 as well as Wild-Type MT1110. These mutant strains were created by the process of transposon mutagenesis. The ultimate goal of this project was to identify the gene that the transposon disrupted, and characterize that gene by using techniques such as microscopy and various bioinformatics methods. The reason behind this project is that there are many genes that exist in S. coelicolor that are uncharacterized and have not been previously studied. This leaves the potential for more developmental genes to be discovered, so I was trying to identify any potential novel developmental genes. The transposon insertion site was identified for three of the five genes. All three of the identified genes were uncharacterized. Two of the genes encode putative lipoproteins and the third is a putative regulatory gene for antibiotic production. Each of the mutants also have a visible phenotypic difference from the wild-type, in spore size/shape and in colony morphology. These findings are significant because there is the possibility that the novel genes could play a crucial role in development, including antibiotic production.

Available for download on Wednesday, April 16, 2025