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Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2013

Biotechnology Seminar April 23: 'Identification of the Bacterium Hylemonella gracilis as an Antagonist of the Persistence of the Plague Bacterium Yersinia pestis'

Please join the Biology Department for the seminar "Identification of the Bacterium Hylemonella gracilis as an Antagonist of the Persistence of the Plague Bacterium Yersinia pestis" by David Pawlowski, senior research scientist with CUBRC Inc. and research assistant professor at the University at Buffalo, on Tuesday, April 23, from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. in Classroom Building B119.

All faculty, staff, and students are welcome. Light refreshments will be served.

Seminar abstract:

Yersinia pestis, the etiological agent of plague, is of interest because of its potential use for bioterrorism. The plague bacterium is thought to only persist within a host such as a flea or small mammal reservoir. Following an event such as an intentional release however, the plague bacterium would be spread throughout a number of atypical environments such as soil or water ecosystems. Recently, studies have been published describing the plague bacterium's persistence in some of these atypical environments. Here we show that Y. pestis can colonize sterilized water microcosms for over three years. However, another bacterium, Hylemonella gracilis, was identified using 16SrRNA genomic analysis that apparently could prevent this long-term Y. pestis persistence in water microcosms. The conditioning and outgrowth of H. gracilis on rich media is directly attributable and proportional to the introduction and concentration of Y. pestis to the microcosm. These results could aid in the development of new diagnostic devices for Y. pestis for use by first responders.

Submitted by: Susan M. Chislett
Also appeared:
Friday, April 19, 2013
Monday, April 22, 2013