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Honors Theses

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Articles 1 - 25 of 25

Full-Text Articles in Organisms

The Effects Of Differing Light Wavelengths And Gravity On, Reese Chesshir May 2023

The Effects Of Differing Light Wavelengths And Gravity On, Reese Chesshir

Honors Theses

Physarum is a slime mold in the class of Mycetozoan and the family of Physaraceae. It is a single cellular, multinuclear organism that is not classified as an animal, plant, or fungi. Physarum growth for long-term space travel would be beneficial because it is a decomposer and is able to break down material and waste to recycle. This is important for transferring energy and allowing other organisms to grow. The purpose of this experiment is to study the effect of different light wavelengths and the influence of gravity on Physarum growth patterns.


Influences Of Post-Fledging Protein Supplementation On Growth And Reactive Stress Response In Zebra Finches (Taeniopygia Castanotis), Gabrielle Morris, Mary Lindley Tharp May 2023

Influences Of Post-Fledging Protein Supplementation On Growth And Reactive Stress Response In Zebra Finches (Taeniopygia Castanotis), Gabrielle Morris, Mary Lindley Tharp

Honors Theses

Protein needs of non-poultry birds, like Zebra Finches (ZF) are understudied. ZFs consume proteinaceous half-ripe seeds during breeding and chicken eggs are recommended supplements for captive ZFs; but developmental needs are unclear. Eggs contain essential amino acids that impact the “stress” hormone, corticosterone (CORT). Diet and corticosterone influence avian growth and stress management. Juvenile egg-fed ZFs outgrow seed-fed birds. Juvenile egg-supplementation boosts adult male attractiveness due to cheek patch augmentation compared to seed-only birds. Across studies, timing of diet (nestling Vs. fledgling) varies, both sexes have not been included, and simultaneous measures of growth and corticosterone are lacking. We are …


The Effects Of Light Intensity And Cell Structure On The Cultivation Of Arthrospira Platensis, Taylor Barnhart May 2023

The Effects Of Light Intensity And Cell Structure On The Cultivation Of Arthrospira Platensis, Taylor Barnhart

Honors Theses

As scientists explore further into space, more cost-effective resources are needed for long-term space travel. An interesting solution is Arthrospira platensis, a filamentous cyanobacteria high in proteins and nutrients, and known for its helical structure. In unfavorable conditions, coiled spirulina cells become straight. Spirulina converts carbon dioxide gas into pure oxygen and the different cell structures stimulate different responses in oxygen production and cultivation. In these experiments, 2.3 L containers of pure coiled spirulina and mixed (coiled and straight) spirulina were placed into 3 incubators with different light intensities: 51μmol/m2/s, 25μmol/m2/s, 12μmol/m2/s. Each experiment length was 72 hours and the …


Effect Of Temperature On The Microbiome Of A Laboratory-Reared Colony Of Haemaphysalis Longicornis Ticks, Brianna L. Mitchell May 2023

Effect Of Temperature On The Microbiome Of A Laboratory-Reared Colony Of Haemaphysalis Longicornis Ticks, Brianna L. Mitchell

Honors Theses

Haemaphysalis longicornis ticks are invasive to the United States with potential to transmit several tick-borne pathogens that are native to the United States. Based on existing locations of H. longicornis in its native regions in Asia, as well as its invasive populations that are established in the United States, several geographic range prediction models have been produced to help understand future range expansion and distribution of this invasive tick in North America. Unfortunately, these models do not all agree and there is uncertainty associated with the potential geographic range expansion of H. longicornis ticks in North America. Climate can affect …


Effects Of Red Light Intensity On Cultivation And Oxygen Production In Arthrospira Platensis, Abigail Roberts Dec 2022

Effects Of Red Light Intensity On Cultivation And Oxygen Production In Arthrospira Platensis, Abigail Roberts

Honors Theses

Maintaining life sustaining resources during long-term space travel has encouraged scientists to turn their attention to the potential benefits of a cyanobacteria named Arthrospira platensis, commonly known as Spirulina algae. This experiment measures the oxygen production and cell population growth of two structurally different Spirulina cultures under two different levels of red light intensities, 8 µmol/m2/s (high); 3 µmol/m2/s (low). The cell population, oxygen produced, and oxygen produced per cell measurements were observed and recorded at three 24 hour intervals. It was found there was not a significant difference between high and low light intensities when considering the cell concentration …


The Effects Of Light Intensity And Cell Structure On The Cultivation Of Arthrospira Platensis, Taylor Barnhart Dec 2022

The Effects Of Light Intensity And Cell Structure On The Cultivation Of Arthrospira Platensis, Taylor Barnhart

Honors Theses

As scientists explore further into space, more cost-effective resources are needed for long-term space travel. An interesting solution is Arthrospira platensis, a filamentous cyanobacteria high in proteins and nutrients, and known for its helical structure. In unfavorable conditions, coiled spirulina cells become straight. Spirulina converts carbon dioxide gas into pure oxygen and the different cell structures stimulate different responses in oxygen production and cultivation. In these experiments, 2.3 L containers of pure coiled spirulina and mixed (coiled and straight) spirulina were placed into 3 incubators with different light intensities: 51µmol/m2/s, 25µmol/m2/s, 12µmol/m2/s. Each experiment length was 72 hours and the …


Effects Of Red Light Intensity On Cultivation & Oxygen Production In Arthrospira Plantensis, Abigail Roberts Dec 2022

Effects Of Red Light Intensity On Cultivation & Oxygen Production In Arthrospira Plantensis, Abigail Roberts

Honors Theses

Maintaining life sustaining resources during long-term space travel has encouraged scientists to turn their attention to the potential benefits of a cyanobacteria named Arthrospira platensis, commonly known as Spirulina algae. This experiment measures the oxygen production and cell population growth of two structurally different Spirulina cultures under two different levels of red light intensities, 8 µmol/m 2Js (high); 3 µmol/m2/s (low). The cell population, oxygen produced, and oxygen produced per cell measurements were observed and recorded at three 24 hour intervals. It was found there was not a significant difference between high and low light intensities when considering the cell …


Exploring The Effects Of Fatty Acids (Pufas) On The Antimicrobial Resistance In Vibrio Cholerae, Naina Patel Dec 2022

Exploring The Effects Of Fatty Acids (Pufas) On The Antimicrobial Resistance In Vibrio Cholerae, Naina Patel

Honors Theses

As antibiotic resistance becomes a major challenge for public health professionals, our research objectives aimed to investigate the potential for polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) to create membrane vulnerability in the gram-negative pathogen Vibrio cholerae to help improve the efficacy of several antibiotics. V. cholerae, normally residing in aquatic environments, is capable of altering its phospholipid composition through the uptake and assimilation of exogenous polyunsaturated fatty acids. The purpose of this study was to measure PUFA-mediated changes in the membrane permeability and antibiotic resistance of Vibrio cholerae. The three physiologically relevant PUFAs used were linoleic acid [18:2], arachidonic acid [20:4], and …


Bacteriophages: Paving The Road For The Future Of Medicine, Luke Brinkerhoff May 2022

Bacteriophages: Paving The Road For The Future Of Medicine, Luke Brinkerhoff

Honors Theses

Bacteriophages are a possible solution to antibiotic resistance, which is predicted to be detrimental world-wide by the year 2050. Personal field research was also conducted for a project studying the characteristics of two bacteriophages on a single bacterial host.


Experimental Evolution And Local Adaptation In Pseudomonas Fluorescens, Alexander England May 2021

Experimental Evolution And Local Adaptation In Pseudomonas Fluorescens, Alexander England

Honors Theses

Local adaptation occurs in populations when multiple subsets of the same population are exposed to different environmental conditions causing the beneficial evolution of each species in its respective environment (Delph 2018). PURPOSE: Using Pseudomonas fluorescens as a model organism, this project sought to understand how an individual’s relative fitness will be affected after undergoing local adaptation in three different environments. METHODOLOGY: To conduct this experiment, three identical strains of SBW25 and three identical strains of lacZ were grown up in three separate environments. Each environment contained an M9 minimal salt media supplemented with either dextrose, xylose, or a 50/50 mixture …


Assessing Arthropod Responses To Volatile Organic Compounds From The Algal Microbiome Of A Sloth Using Drosophila Melanogaster, Lilli Gordon Apr 2021

Assessing Arthropod Responses To Volatile Organic Compounds From The Algal Microbiome Of A Sloth Using Drosophila Melanogaster, Lilli Gordon

Honors Theses

Sloths contain an unexplored ecosystem of microbial diversity in their fur, including algae, fungi, bacteria, and arthropods. These symbionts are able to communicate through the chemicals they release, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can lead to unique ecological interactions. The VOCs released from the algal polycultures of sloth hairs merit further investigation in their ability to cause a response from other organisms in this microbial community and within a broader ecological context. This research team aimed to assess the response of Drosophila melanogaster as test subjects when exposed to VOCs of the algal microbiome of a sloth. Exploratory research …


Restoration Agriculture In Louisiana: On The Prospects And Ethics Of Creating A Permanent, Dynamic Agricultural System Suited For Louisiana's Environment, Noah Willsea Apr 2021

Restoration Agriculture In Louisiana: On The Prospects And Ethics Of Creating A Permanent, Dynamic Agricultural System Suited For Louisiana's Environment, Noah Willsea

Honors Theses

No abstract provided.


Characterization Of A Plasmid-Based Dna Vaccine For Simian Immunodeficiency Virus, Priya Sanipara May 2020

Characterization Of A Plasmid-Based Dna Vaccine For Simian Immunodeficiency Virus, Priya Sanipara

Honors Theses

Described as one of the world’s worst pandemics, HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) infects millions of people each year and is the cause for AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). Despite the development of vaccines for numerous infectious diseases such as polio, small pox, and influenza, a vaccine for HIV remains elusive due to the virus’s high mutation rate and ability to evade the immune system. HIV causes depletion of CD4+ lymphocytes, resulting in a weakened immune system. However, the development of a plasmid-based DNA vaccine approach may help revolutionize vaccine development for HIV due to its ability to confer cellular and humoral …


Fatty Acid Mediated Alterations In Biofilm Formation With Vibrio Cholerae, Isabel Gray May 2020

Fatty Acid Mediated Alterations In Biofilm Formation With Vibrio Cholerae, Isabel Gray

Honors Theses

Vibrio cholerae is a Gram-negative bacterium known as a waterborne pathogen. It is often found in marine conditions and can infect humans through ingestion. V. cholerae is responsible for cholera, a disease characterized by profuse diarrhea, vomiting, and other dehydration symptoms. Ultimately, severe cases can cause extreme electrolyte imbalances, shock, and acute renal failure which lead to death in a short period of time. Annually, V. cholerae causes approximately 3 million cases of cholera and 100,000 deaths worldwide. V. cholerae can persist in motile and biofilm lifestyles under aquatic and host conditions, a unique biphasic lifestyle that contributes to Vibrio’s …


Bacterial Load In Virtual Reality Headsets, Benjamin Creel Apr 2020

Bacterial Load In Virtual Reality Headsets, Benjamin Creel

Honors Theses

Virtual reality technology is a rapidly growing field of computer science. Virtual reality utilizes headsets which cover the user’s eyes, nose, and forehead. In this study, I analyzed the potential for these headsets to become contaminated with bacteria. The nosepieces and foreheads of two HTC Vive VR headsets of the Department of Computer Science of the University of Mississippi were sampled over the course of a seven-week Immersive Media (CSCI 447) course. Serial dilutions were performed, and samples were plated on various culture media. Following incubation, counts of bacteria were determined. DNA was extracted from bacterial growth on plates from …


Exploring Stable Isotope Analysis For The Identification Of Prior Tick Hosts, Kiprian Gernat Jun 2018

Exploring Stable Isotope Analysis For The Identification Of Prior Tick Hosts, Kiprian Gernat

Honors Theses

Lyme disease is a pervasive illness caused by the transmission of the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi from the bite of an infected black-legged tick, Ixodes scapularis. Ticks initially obtain the spirochete by feeding on an infected animal host. Ticks feed on a broad range of hosts, but some of these hosts are more competent carriers of Lyme disease and more readily transmit B. burgdorferi to feeding ticks. Thus, knowing what host a tick has fed on could provide valuable information in studying the transmission of Lyme disease. However, studying the relationships between ticks and their hosts has proved to be …


Testing Bacterial Antibiotic Production Under Carbohydrate And Protein Starvation, Briley Baird Jan 2018

Testing Bacterial Antibiotic Production Under Carbohydrate And Protein Starvation, Briley Baird

Honors Theses

Bacteria produce antibiotics when they are under stress, including starvation stress. Bacteria were tested under carbohydrate and protein starvation against Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli (due to the respective Gram positivity and negativity), in order to check for antibiotic production. The bacteria being tested were isolated by past Microbiology classes and stored in a -80°C freezer in the basement of Jones Science Center at Ouachita Baptist University. These test bacteria were grown on tryptic soy agar (TSA) to produce isolated bacterial colonies. Samples of isolated test colonies were then grown under conditions of carbohydrate starvation (M9 salts agar with 0.1 …


Organics: Exploring The Parallels Between Botany And Human Anatomy Through Sculpture And Watercolor Painting, Allison Borek Jun 2016

Organics: Exploring The Parallels Between Botany And Human Anatomy Through Sculpture And Watercolor Painting, Allison Borek

Honors Theses

Integrating my two passions of the visual arts and science for my senior thesis, I created a collection of paintings that represent human organs and the parallels between plant biology and animal biology. Genetically, plants are just as complex – if not more – than many animals. They have intricate sensory and regulatory systems highly comparable to humans, and on a cellular level, we share many analogous features. In addition, every single carbon atom that makes up the human body was at one time fixed in a plant during photosynthesis. We also rely on photosynthesis to give us the oxygen …


13c Composition In Bryophyte Primary Sugars As An Indicator Of Water Availability, Olivia Hope Williamson Jun 2016

13c Composition In Bryophyte Primary Sugars As An Indicator Of Water Availability, Olivia Hope Williamson

Honors Theses

Bryophytes (mosses and their relatives) are a major carbon sink, and their productivity, is expected to be affected by climate change. Changes in plant productivity caused by changes in the climate can be tracked through stable carbon isotopes. This research aims to find a connection between stable carbon isotope signatures and water availability in bryophytes by examining the composition of 13C in soluble sugars and bulk tissue. Similar to trees, which leave rings of growth every year, mosses build up peat deposits, which can be used to gain information about the weather and water availability of a region. Information on …


Comparison Of Wild And Cultivated Extracts Of Cordyceps Sinensis Apoptotic Potential, Katelyn Staring Jun 2013

Comparison Of Wild And Cultivated Extracts Of Cordyceps Sinensis Apoptotic Potential, Katelyn Staring

Honors Theses

Cordyceps sinensis is a mushroom which contains the compound cordycepin (3’-deoxyadenosine), an analogue of adenosine. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), cordycepin has multipurpose pharmacological uses including purported anti-tumor effects. In the present study, cordycepin was extracted from the wild mushroom as well as from various commercially available cultivated extracts. Previous research in this lab has demonstrated that cultivated extracts contain less cordycepin than the wild mushroom. However, it is unclear if the decrease in cordycepin correlates with decreased activity. To measure anti-tumor activity, extracts were used to treat human breast cancer cells (MCF-7 cells). In other labs, cordycepin has been …


Metacaspase Gene Function In The Mushroom Fungus Schizophyllum Commune, Matthew P. Hanley Jun 2011

Metacaspase Gene Function In The Mushroom Fungus Schizophyllum Commune, Matthew P. Hanley

Honors Theses

The overall goal of this project was to investigate the biological role of a putative metacaspase gene present in the mushroom fungus Schizophyllum commune. For this study, we have utilized a strain of S. commune that is unable to integrate DNA via the non-homologous end joining pathway. This forces transforming DNA to integrate homologously, as is required for the purposes of gene knockout. The gene Scp1 encodes a likely member of the metacaspase protein family, which are suspected to have activity similar to caspases, the latter crucial to programmed cell death. A knockout construct containing a non-functional version of Scp1 …


Molecular Evolution Of Insecticidal Spore-Forming Bacteria, John Pool Apr 2000

Molecular Evolution Of Insecticidal Spore-Forming Bacteria, John Pool

Honors Theses

Molecular methods are increasingly being used to determine the phylogeny of microorganisms. This research was intended to determine phylogenetic relationships for bacteria of the species Bacillus thuringiensis and other members of the Bacillus cereus group. Each strain was analyzed by its sasp-B gene sequence to determine its species classification and relation to other strains studied. Results of this study indicated that according to the sasp-B gene tree, the species Bacillus thuringiensis is a paraphyletic with respect to both Bacillus cereus and Bacillus anthracis. Some unexpected results and implications for species designations are also discussed.


Characterization Of Metal-Regulated Genes In Pseudomonas Fluorescens, Melanie Pearson Aug 1998

Characterization Of Metal-Regulated Genes In Pseudomonas Fluorescens, Melanie Pearson

Honors Theses

One side effect of today's industrialized world is increased levels of heavy metals in the environment. Many of these metals are necessary for biological function as trace elements, but at higher concentrations are toxic. Other metals, such as cadmium, are not beneficial at any level, and have only deleterious effects on living organisms. Cadmium is primarily thought to interfere with normal biological function of proteins. Human exposure to cadmium appears to primarily damage the kidneys, but may also affect the liver, lungs, immune system, and central nervous system. Bacteria, however, have developed several methods for handling toxic heavy metals: cation …


Experimentation To Develop Procedures To Be Used In The Investigation Of The Effects Of Restriction On The Unmodified Dna Of The Bacteriophage Lamda, John Haynes Jun 1973

Experimentation To Develop Procedures To Be Used In The Investigation Of The Effects Of Restriction On The Unmodified Dna Of The Bacteriophage Lamda, John Haynes

Honors Theses

The results of experimentation approximately twenty years ago with variuos bacteriophages by Ralston and Krueger16, Anderson and Felix1, Luria and Human12, and by Bertani and Weigle2 have shown that the host range of a given phage depends directly on the bacterial strain on which the phage has last propagated. This event came to be known as host-induced modification or host-controlled variation. As this phage host range is controlled by the host environment and can be altered from one generation to another it has, according to Luria, made microbiology "the last stronghold of Lamarckism" …


The Role Of D-Gluconic Acid In The Regulation Of The Synthesis Of The Enzymes Of The Entner-Doudoroff Pathway In Pseudomonas Fluorescens, Steven C. Quay Aug 1971

The Role Of D-Gluconic Acid In The Regulation Of The Synthesis Of The Enzymes Of The Entner-Doudoroff Pathway In Pseudomonas Fluorescens, Steven C. Quay

Honors Theses

Induction of Entner-Duodoroff pathway enzymes in Pseudomonas fluorescens was investigated to study the role of gluconate as a possible inducer. Glucose oxidase-deficient mutants were isolated and characterized. One of these mutants, gox-7, was deficient in particulate glucose oxidase; another mutant, gox-17, was deficient in particulate glucose and gluconate oxidase activities. Gluconate, but not glucose, induced synthesis of gluconokinase and 6-phosphogluconate dehydratase in both mutants. High constitute levels of 2-keto-3-deoxy-6-phosphogluconate aldolase were found when both mutants were grown on glucose. Growth of parent and both mutant strains on glycerol also resulted in high levels of Entner-Doudoroff pathway enzymes. It was concluded …