Date of Award

Fall 12-1-2015

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis


Chemistry and Biochemistry

First Advisor

Sabine Heinhorst


Annotations were performed on fifteen genes relating to the sulfur oxidation pathway of the chemoautotrophic bacterium Halothiobacillus neapolitanus. The annotations were performed primarily through GENI-ACT, an online bioinformatics toolkit initiative by the Microbial Genome Annotation Network (MGAN), and through the Integrated Microbial Genomes (IMG) database of the Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute. The gene annotations predict the function of their protein products in the K00920 Sulfur Oxidation KEGG pathway. The genes present suggest that H. neapolitanus can metabolize sulfides, elemental sulfur, and thiosulfates for energy, which has been shown to occur in laboratory settings. Though five genes (Hneap_0198, _1560, _1565, _1857, and _0578) were annotated with a possible function of metabolizing sulfite compounds that can enter the sulfur oxidation pathway, they are hypothesized to function only in sulfur metabolism when the H. neapolitanus organism is subjected to conditions of cyanide toxicity. In culture, H. neapolitanus is unable to grow in or obtain energy from a medium with only sulfite compounds, which adds weight to this annotation evidence. More information from both annotations and laboratory experiments are necessary to fully understand the capabilities of the sulfur oxidation pathways in H. neapolitanus, specifically in areas such as formation of tetrathionate intermediates and regulation of the pathway.

Available for download on Tuesday, March 02, 2219

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