Fingers Crossed

I am new to the realm of “blogging” so thank you for bearing with me while I find my sea legs.

My name is Erin Breland. I am currently a junior at CSU with a major in microbiology and a minor in biomedical science. I am looking to graduate CSU and progress to a graduate program for a Ph.D. for research. As of yet, I am not sure what exactly I want to research but I am lucky enough to have options. I work in the Schweizer laboratory in the RBL at the Foothills Campus. I have been a part of this lab since my first semester as a freshman. I was fortunate enough to be granted the undergraduate research fellowship through the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) for the summer. The project I have taken on, Characterization of a Temperature-Sensitive Burkholderia Plasmid Replicon, is a continuation of Choi’s, graduate student, previous work. Her paper can be read here:

To sum up the previous work done, a replicon was created through error prone PCR that allowed for point mutations in the rep gene of the pUCP28T plasmid to occur. Ultimately Choi found five amino acid changes that lead to a temperature sensitive phenotype in Burkholderia thailandensis. This is important because until this point, temperature sensitivity was not a phenotype Burkholderia expressed or could utilize. This is an important genetic tool that can be used for Burkholderia in the testing process.

My goal during this fellowship is to delineate which of the amino acid changes are responsible for the temperature sensitive phenotype expressed.

Things are off to a slow start while the preparation phase takes place. I will be using Stratagene’s QuikChange Multi Site-Directed Mutagenesis Kit to create different variations of the point mutations. In order to accomplish this I designed primers to be used. The primers have been ordered and will hopefully arrive early next week. Once everything falls into place the fun will begin.

I am excited to see where this project will go. Until next time,


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