Date of Award

May 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Sonia L Bardy

Committee Members

Douglas Steeber, Steven Forst


The opportunistic pathogen P. aeruginosa forms biofilms during chronic lung infections in cystic fibrosis patients, contributing to morbidity and mortality. Not only are biofilms antibiotic resistant but dispersal may release pathogenic bacteria throughout the body. Previous research discovered a novel interaction between DipA, a phosphodiesterase that promotes biofilm dispersal, and ParP, which localizes chemosensory clusters and has AIF (array integration and formation) domain homology to CheA and CheW of the chemotaxis system. This research was focused on further deciphering the role of ParP’s AIF domain in mediating the interactions between DipA and CheA by using a bacterial two hybrid system. We also explored the functional redundancy of ParP and CheW AIF domains with swimming assays and found that ParP’s AIF domain was unable to restore swimming motility in a ∆cheW mutant strain. This research may provide new targets for safe biofilm dispersal within the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients.

Included in

Microbiology Commons