Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Bert Ely

Second Advisor

Rekha Patel


Caulobacter is a well-studied bacterial genus, but little is known about the plasmids that are found in some wild Caulobacter isolates. I identified nine plasmids from seven different Caulobacter strains and grouped them based on their size and the similarity of their repABC, parAB, and mobAB genes. Protein pathway analysis of the genes on the K31p1, and K31p2 plasmids showed many metabolic pathways that would enhance the metabolic versatility of the host strain. In contrast, the CB4 plasmid contained 21 heavy metal resistance genes organized into 9 operons. The majority of the CB4 heavy metal resistance genes code for genes that enhance copper resistance. Growth assays demonstrated increased copper resistance and quantitative PCR showed an increase in the expression of eight of the nine heavy metal operons when induced with copper.


© 2021, Taylor Howell Carter

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