Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2022

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis



First Advisor

Paul Boudreau

Second Advisor

Patrick Curtis

Third Advisor

Vitor Pomin

Relational Format



Cyanobacteria have provided a vast, new source of natural products to be utilized in drug development. Because of their non-axenic nature, cyanobacteria typically have an abundance of symbiotic heterotrophs living in association with them. These bacteria can play significant roles in the survival of its cyanobacterial host as well as provide the potential production of unique compounds. The possibility of unknown natural products is only increased by the flexible nature of these bacteria, as altering its environmental state can change the activity of biosynthetic pathways and even activate novel production. Our research team’s intent is to isolate cyanobacterial strains from diverse sources and investigate for the production of unique compounds. Furthermore, the team aims to isolate individual heterotrophic symbionts from the cyanobacterial culture and determine their identity through sequencing. To date, the lab has collected 49 heterotrophic bacteria strains from local sources as well as 45 from various library strains. Furthermore, the lab has conducted many methods of heterotrophic isolation and sequencing preparation and has determined the effectiveness of each approach. Future work on identifying heterotrophic sources of unique compounds and understanding their potential uses will provide novel resources to be utilized in drug development. Overall, the goal of the lab is to identify and harness unique natural products to inspire production of new treatments to improve human health.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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