May
30

Summer Plans

This summer, I will engineer a strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to express both an inducible toxin and a mutant allele causing cell death. I will then test this “Trojan Horse” strain against biofilm-forming strains, attempting to disrupt biofilm formation in growing and established yeast colonies. This research will explore a potential application of evolutionary theory and microbial population dynamics against medically relevant fungal biofilms.

My first goal for the summer is to engineer my Trojan Horse strain. I am currently considering what systems to use for gene regulation and the most effective means of administering inducing agents. Because I will be growing strains on solid media, I have to find an administration method that will penetrate established colonies. I will thus test different ways of injecting inducing agents into colonies or media.

Once I have engineered my Trojan Horse strain and confirmed the desired induction of the toxin and mutant allele, I will attempt to use the strain to disrupt biofilms. I will grow it in mixed colonies with different biofilm-forming strains. I will also add it to colonies to try to infiltrate established biofilms. I am looking forward to an exciting summer of research!