Presentation Title

Cyanobacteria Tyrosinase Enzyme Involvement in Scytonemin Synthesis

Format of Presentation

Poster to be presented Friday March 31, 2017

Abstract

Cyanobacteria are gram-negative photosynthesizing bacteria that are found in almost all habitats where water is found and is important in the eutrophic blooms. These blooms cause problems with toxins resulting in animal and human death. The bacteria involved produce pigments such as chlorophyll A for photosynthesis and scytonemin for survival from UV damage. Scytonemin, a yellow-green pigment, is often described as an extracellular UV sunscreen. Nostoc punctiforme was the first cyanobacteria producing scytonemin to be understood genetically, with one of the genes involved being structurally similar to tyrosinase genes found in other tyrosinase sources including fungi, bacteria, fruits, and vegetables. Tyrosinase is predicted to be the final enzyme responsible for the dimerization of the pigment to its final form. The tyrosinase enzyme is used to produce melanin in other sources, an important UV protectant for these organisms. Pure samples are an important objective of the study along with isolation and purification of tyrosinase from the bacteria. Targeting of tyrosinase and scytonemin will assist in better understanding the survival mechanisms needed for these bacteria in harsh UV conditions. Cyanobacteria from winogradsky columns will be purified. A number of methods such as a Bradford assay, tyrosinase activity determination, and SDS-PAGE will be used to fully characterize the tyrosinase enzyme found in these bacteria compared to the tyrosinase found in other sources such as potatoes.

Department

Biological Sciences

Faculty Advisor

Anthony Siame

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Cyanobacteria Tyrosinase Enzyme Involvement in Scytonemin Synthesis

Cyanobacteria are gram-negative photosynthesizing bacteria that are found in almost all habitats where water is found and is important in the eutrophic blooms. These blooms cause problems with toxins resulting in animal and human death. The bacteria involved produce pigments such as chlorophyll A for photosynthesis and scytonemin for survival from UV damage. Scytonemin, a yellow-green pigment, is often described as an extracellular UV sunscreen. Nostoc punctiforme was the first cyanobacteria producing scytonemin to be understood genetically, with one of the genes involved being structurally similar to tyrosinase genes found in other tyrosinase sources including fungi, bacteria, fruits, and vegetables. Tyrosinase is predicted to be the final enzyme responsible for the dimerization of the pigment to its final form. The tyrosinase enzyme is used to produce melanin in other sources, an important UV protectant for these organisms. Pure samples are an important objective of the study along with isolation and purification of tyrosinase from the bacteria. Targeting of tyrosinase and scytonemin will assist in better understanding the survival mechanisms needed for these bacteria in harsh UV conditions. Cyanobacteria from winogradsky columns will be purified. A number of methods such as a Bradford assay, tyrosinase activity determination, and SDS-PAGE will be used to fully characterize the tyrosinase enzyme found in these bacteria compared to the tyrosinase found in other sources such as potatoes.