Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Microbiology and Immunology


The polysaccharide component of the V. fischeri biofilm is produced by proteins encoded by the symbiosis polysaccharide (syp) locus. The syp locus encodes 18 genes, six of which are putative glycosyltransferases (GTs). One of these GTs, sypQ, encodes a putative family 2 glycosyltransferase (GT-2). The mechanism by which SypQ facilitates biofilm formation is not yet understood. To uncover which specific residues are essential for the function of SypQ, I utilized Bioinformatics, site-directed mutagenesis, and random mutagenesis. The Bioinformatics identified putative GT-2 motifs in the SypQ primary sequence. The mutagenesis (both site-directed and random), identified five residues (D95, D151, S153, D236, and R275) within SypQ located in known GT-2 motifs and that likely contribute to the catalytic activity of the enzyme. These data support my hypothesis that SypQ is functioning as a GT-2 to polymerize the syp polysaccharide.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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