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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: bjude@bard.edu.
    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 CT2006In vitro biosynthesis of violacein from l-tryptophan by the enzymes VioA-E from Chromobacterium violaceumBiochemistry45154441545710.1021/bi061998z17176066 http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/bi061998z
2. Ballestriero F, et al2014Antinematode activity of violacein and the role of the insulin/IGF-1 pathway in controlling violacein sensitivity in Caenorhabditis elegansPLoS ONE9e10920110.1371/journal.pone.0109201252955164189955 http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0109201
3. Becker MH, Brucker RM, Schwantes CR, Harris RN, Minbiole KPC2009The bacterially produced metabolite violacein is associated with survival of amphibians infected with a lethal fungusAppl Environ Microbiol756635663810.1128/AEM.01294-09197176272772424 http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/AEM.01294-09
4. Ferreira CV, Bos CL, Versteeg HH, Justo GZ, Durán N, Peppelenbosch MP2004Molecular mechanism of violacein-mediated human leukemia cell deathBlood1041459146410.1182/blood-2004-02-059415130948 http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2004-02-0594
5. Fisher MC, Garner TWJ, Walker SF2009Global emergence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and amphibian chytridiomycosis in space, time, and hostAnnu Rev Microbiol6329131010.1146/annurev.micro.091208.07343519575560 http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev.micro.091208.073435
6. Goedert JJ, Hua X, Yu G, Shi J2014Diversity and composition of the adult fecal microbiome associated with history of cesarean birth or appendectomy: analysis of the American gut projectE-BioMed1167172
7. Kodach LL, Bos CL, Durán N, Peppelenbosch MP, Ferreira CV, Hardwick JCH2006Violacein synergistically increases 5-fluorouracil cytotoxicity, induces apoptosis and inhibits Akt-mediated signal transduction in human colorectal cancer cellsCarcinogenesis2750851610.1093/carcin/bgi307 http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/bgi307
8. Lichstein HC, Van de Sand VF1946The antibiotic activity of violacein, prodigiosin, and phthiocolJ Bacteriol5214520994883518152
9. Lichstein HC, Van De Sand VF1945Violacein, an antibiotic pigment produced by Chromobacterium violaceumJ Infect Dis76475110.1093/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 S2007Violacein and biofilm production in Janthinobacterium lividumJ Appl Microbiol10299299917381742
11. Platt D, et al2014Violacein inhibits matrix metalloproteinase mediated CXCR4 expression: potential anti-tumor effect in cancer invasion and metastasisBiochem Biophys Res Commun45510711210.1016/j.bbrc.2014.10.124254507004293260 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2014.10.124
12. Rahul S, et al2015In vitro antiparasitic activity of microbial pigments and their combination with phytosynthesized metal nanoparticlesParasitol Intl6435335610.1016/j.parint.2015.05.004 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.parint.2015.05.004
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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v17i1.1002
2016-03-01
2017-03-29

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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