Date of Award
Dr. Ralph Saporito
This study investigated the antimycobacterial properties of M. simplex alkaloids from geographically isolated populations against two species of mycobacteria, M. smegmatis, a soil-dwelling species, and M. phlei, a saprophytic species (Berney et al. 2014; Egamberdieva 2011). Both of these species are fast-growing, commonly found in the environment, and typically nonpathogenic in healthy animals (Balazova et al. 2014, Berney et al. 2014, Egamberdieva 2011). Both M. smegmatis and M. phlei are commonly used as model strains for the study of antimycobacterial agents (Zhang et al. 2014, Bruce-Micah et al. 2009). Optical density and colony-forming unit assays were used to evaluate the antimycobacterial effect of these alkaloids. Optical density was used as a measure of growth inhibition, i.e. the alkaloids’ ability to prevent the bacteria from growing. Colony-forming unit assays were used to measure the decrease in viability of the bacteria, i.e. the alkaloids’ ability to kill the bacteria. Ultimately, this study will provide useful information regarding the role alkaloids play in the microbial defense of poison frogs, especially against mycobacterial pathogens in M. simplex.
Boyk, Megan A., "Alkaloid-based chemical defenses in the Brazilian poison frog Melanophryniscus simplex inhibit mycobacterial growth" (2015). Senior Honors Projects. 82.
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