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The Search for Violacein-Producing Microbes to Combat : A Collaborative Research Project between Secondary School and College Research Students

    Authors: Larra Agate1, Deborah Beam2, Collen Bucci3, Yegor Dukashin4, Raneem Jo’Beh5, Kelsey O’Brien4, Brooke A. Jude4,*
    VIEW AFFILIATIONS HIDE AFFILIATIONS
    Affiliations: 1: Linden Avenue Middle School, Red Hook, NY 12571; 2: Red Hook High School, Red Hook, NY 12571; 3: F.D. Roosevelt High School, Staatsburg, NY 12580; 4: Biology Program, Bard College, Annandale on Hudson, NY 12504; 5: Al Quds Bard College, Jerusalem
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Published 01 March 2016
    • ©2016 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology.
    • [open-access] This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/legalcode), which grants the public the nonexclusive right to copy, distribute, or display the published work.

    • Supplemental materials available at http://jmbe.asm.org
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: P.O. Box 5000, 30 Campus Road, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504. Phone: 845-752-2337. E-mail: [email protected].
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. March 2016 vol. 17 no. 1 70-73. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v17i1.1002
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    Abstract:

    In this citizen science–aided, college laboratory–based microbiology research project, secondary school students collaborate with college research students on an investigation centered around bacterial species in the local watershed. This study specifically investigated the prevalence of violacein-producing bacterial isolates, as violacein has been demonstrated as a potential bioremediation treatment for outbreaks of the worldwide invasive chytrid, (). The impact of this invasion has been linked to widespread amphibian decline, and tracking of the spread of is currently ongoing. Secondary school students participated in this research project by sterilely collecting water samples from a local watershed, documenting the samples, and completing the initial sample plating in a BSL1 environment. In the second phase of this project, trained college students working in courses and as research assistants in the academic year and summer term in a BSL2 laboratory facility were able to use physiological, biochemical, and molecular techniques to further identify individual isolates as well as characterize their properties. Collaboration between these learning spaces provides an increased interest in the community for environmentally relevant research projects and allows for an expansion of the research team to increase study robustness. Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education

Key Concept Ranking

16s rRNA Sequencing
0.46892074
Microbial Communities in Environment
0.4394368
0.46892074

References & Citations

1. Balibar CJ, Walsh CT 2006 In vitro biosynthesis of violacein from l-tryptophan by the enzymes VioA-E from Chromobacterium violaceum Biochemistry 45 15444 15457 10.1021/bi061998z 17176066 http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/bi061998z
2. Ballestriero F, et al 2014 Antinematode activity of violacein and the role of the insulin/IGF-1 pathway in controlling violacein sensitivity in Caenorhabditis elegans PLoS ONE 9 e109201 10.1371/journal.pone.0109201 25295516 4189955 http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0109201
3. Becker MH, Brucker RM, Schwantes CR, Harris RN, Minbiole KPC 2009 The bacterially produced metabolite violacein is associated with survival of amphibians infected with a lethal fungus Appl Environ Microbiol 75 6635 6638 10.1128/AEM.01294-09 19717627 2772424 http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/AEM.01294-09
4. Ferreira CV, Bos CL, Versteeg HH, Justo GZ, Durán N, Peppelenbosch MP 2004 Molecular mechanism of violacein-mediated human leukemia cell death Blood 104 1459 1464 10.1182/blood-2004-02-0594 15130948 http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2004-02-0594
5. Fisher MC, Garner TWJ, Walker SF 2009 Global emergence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and amphibian chytridiomycosis in space, time, and host Annu Rev Microbiol 63 291 310 10.1146/annurev.micro.091208.073435 19575560 http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev.micro.091208.073435
6. Goedert JJ, Hua X, Yu G, Shi J 2014 Diversity and composition of the adult fecal microbiome associated with history of cesarean birth or appendectomy: analysis of the American gut project E-BioMed 1 167 172
7. Kodach LL, Bos CL, Durán N, Peppelenbosch MP, Ferreira CV, Hardwick JCH 2006 Violacein synergistically increases 5-fluorouracil cytotoxicity, induces apoptosis and inhibits Akt-mediated signal transduction in human colorectal cancer cells Carcinogenesis 27 508 516 10.1093/carcin/bgi307 http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/bgi307
8. Lichstein HC, Van de Sand VF 1946 The antibiotic activity of violacein, prodigiosin, and phthiocol J Bacteriol 52 145 20994883 518152
9. Lichstein HC, Van De Sand VF 1945 Violacein, an antibiotic pigment produced by Chromobacterium violaceum J Infect Dis 76 47 51 10.1093/infdis/76.1.47 http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/infdis/76.1.47
10. Pantanella F, Berlutti F, Passariello C, Sarli S, Morea C, Schippa S 2007 Violacein and biofilm production in Janthinobacterium lividum J Appl Microbiol 102 992 999 17381742
11. Platt D, et al 2014 Violacein inhibits matrix metalloproteinase mediated CXCR4 expression: potential anti-tumor effect in cancer invasion and metastasis Biochem Biophys Res Commun 455 107 112 10.1016/j.bbrc.2014.10.124 25450700 4293260 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2014.10.124
12. Rahul S, et al 2015 In vitro antiparasitic activity of microbial pigments and their combination with phytosynthesized metal nanoparticles Parasitol Intl 64 353 356 10.1016/j.parint.2015.05.004 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.parint.2015.05.004

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2016-03-01
2019-04-24

Abstract:

In this citizen science–aided, college laboratory–based microbiology research project, secondary school students collaborate with college research students on an investigation centered around bacterial species in the local watershed. This study specifically investigated the prevalence of violacein-producing bacterial isolates, as violacein has been demonstrated as a potential bioremediation treatment for outbreaks of the worldwide invasive chytrid, (). The impact of this invasion has been linked to widespread amphibian decline, and tracking of the spread of is currently ongoing. Secondary school students participated in this research project by sterilely collecting water samples from a local watershed, documenting the samples, and completing the initial sample plating in a BSL1 environment. In the second phase of this project, trained college students working in courses and as research assistants in the academic year and summer term in a BSL2 laboratory facility were able to use physiological, biochemical, and molecular techniques to further identify individual isolates as well as characterize their properties. Collaboration between these learning spaces provides an increased interest in the community for environmentally relevant research projects and allows for an expansion of the research team to increase study robustness. Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education

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FIGURE 1

Results from water sampling assays. (A) Colonies resulting from pipetting 200 μL of water onto R2A agar, incubated at 22°C for 24 to 28 hours. (B–C) Purification of single colonies onto R2A agar, incubated at 22°C for 24 to 28 hours. (D–E) Isolate growth on 0.3% R2A swimming motility agar incubated at 22°C for 24 to 28 hours. (F) Biofilm production of isolates in liquid R2A broth incubated at 22°C for 24 to 28 hours.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. March 2016 vol. 17 no. 1 70-73. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v17i1.1002
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