Presentation Title

Cloning and Sequence Analysis of the AlkB Gene in Gordonia otitidis

Format of Presentation

Poster to be presented Friday March 31, 2017

Abstract

This study investigates a bacterium, Gordonia otitidis, that was not previously known to be capable of degrading oil and characterizes one of the genes involved in hydrocarbon metabolism. Gordonia otitidis has been previously isolated from soil at the University of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford campus and recognized to be capable of metabolizing used motor oil. AlkB, a gene known to be involved in oil metabolism, has been characterized. An attempt to isolate and transform the whole gene along with upstream region will be made to determine gene regulation and the role of AlkB in the metabolism of used motor oil. It is well known that crude oil and petroleum contain toxins that are harmful to the environment and that these can persist for long periods of time. The twinning of the Trans-Mountain pipeline by Kinder Morgan will nearly triple the amount of crude oil being transported from Edmonton, Alberta to Greater Vancouver and the Puget sound area. This increases the likelihood of there being a large-scale spill due to higher volumes and increased traffic both on land and in water. Methods currently employed to clean up an oil spill can be toxic, expensive and inefficient. One method that is not as widely utilized is bioremediation. This study will investigate a possibly novel mechanism of oil metabolism found in Gordonia otitidis for use in the bioremediation of polluted environments.

Department

Biological Sciences

Faculty Advisor

Stephen Thomas

Comments

I am a fourth year student at the University of the Fraser Valley. I will be graduating in May with an Honours degree in Biology and a Minor in Chemistry. I have attended the University of the Fraser Valley for the entirety of my Undergraduate degree and have been working with Dr. Stephen Thomas to complete a research project. His research focuses on bioremediating bacteria found in the local soil and the mechanisms behind toxin metabolism. Dr. Thomas has a BSc in Biochemistry and a PhD in Microbiology and worked in the field of infectious diseases before coming to work as a professor at the University of the Fraser Valley.

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Cloning and Sequence Analysis of the AlkB Gene in Gordonia otitidis

This study investigates a bacterium, Gordonia otitidis, that was not previously known to be capable of degrading oil and characterizes one of the genes involved in hydrocarbon metabolism. Gordonia otitidis has been previously isolated from soil at the University of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford campus and recognized to be capable of metabolizing used motor oil. AlkB, a gene known to be involved in oil metabolism, has been characterized. An attempt to isolate and transform the whole gene along with upstream region will be made to determine gene regulation and the role of AlkB in the metabolism of used motor oil. It is well known that crude oil and petroleum contain toxins that are harmful to the environment and that these can persist for long periods of time. The twinning of the Trans-Mountain pipeline by Kinder Morgan will nearly triple the amount of crude oil being transported from Edmonton, Alberta to Greater Vancouver and the Puget sound area. This increases the likelihood of there being a large-scale spill due to higher volumes and increased traffic both on land and in water. Methods currently employed to clean up an oil spill can be toxic, expensive and inefficient. One method that is not as widely utilized is bioremediation. This study will investigate a possibly novel mechanism of oil metabolism found in Gordonia otitidis for use in the bioremediation of polluted environments.