Office of Undergraduate Research

Small molecule inhibitors of type III secretion in Erwinia amylovora

Objective: Evaluate the inhibitory effects and determine the regulatory mechanisms of the newly synthesized compounds against T3SS. To date, along with 43 commercially available phenolic compounds, 58 compounds have been synthesized based on the structure-activity relationships of T3SS inhibitors previously identified in our lab. Among these 101 compounds, several compounds showed either an inducing or inhibitory effect against T3SS of three plant pathogens including Erwinia amylovora. Using E. amylovora as a model microorganism, we will study the modes of action of T3SS inducers/inhibitors on the T3SS components and regulators. Methodology: Molecular cloning, flow cytometry, and Northern blot will be used to measure the expression of genes encoding T3SS components and regulators.

Tasks and responsibilities:

Task: To study the effects of T3SS inhibitors on the T3SS components and regulators. Student's responsibilities: a) Clone promoter region of T3SS genes (hrpS, rpoN, and hrpL) into a GFP reporter pPROBE-AT b) Measure the promoter activties of T3SS genes of E. amylovora supplemeted with inducer or inhibitor. c) Use Northern blot to measure the mRNA level of rsm genes of E. amylovora supplemented with inducer and inhibitor. d) Perform the tobacco assays in order to find out if the T3SS inhibitors suppress the HR symptoms e) Work out the conditions to do immature pear fruit assay to find out if the T3SS inhibitors can suppress the disease symptoms in the host plant.