Optimization of a beta-galactosidase reporter assay for the study of the ykkCD riboswitch as a mechanism for antibiotic resistance in B.subtilis

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Belcher, Phillip J.
Fernandez, Timea
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Thesis (B.?.)
Honors College
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Antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria are quickly becoming a major concern in health care. As they evolve and adapt, our most powerful weapons become less and less useful, and very little is known about how to adjust our treatments. Pharmaceutical companies are rushing to create new and more powerful antibiotics, but they are not solving the root problem. This report is an analysis of a proposed mechanism of antibiotic resistance: a special type of mRNA called a riboswitch. The lab group is attempting to study the structure and properties of the ykkCD riboswitch, using Bacillus subtilis as a model organism, in hopes of developing a treatment against antibiotic resistant bacteria. The sub-inhibitory concentrations (SIC) were found for selected antibiotics, and a gene reporter assay was used to study the activation of the riboswitch.