Arginine kinase (AK) is a member of the phosphagen kinase family (PK), and catalyzes the reversible transfer of the γ-phosphate from the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to the guanidino group of arginine to form phosphoarginine. Phosphoarginine is used in ATP buffering systems in organisms that have high and variable rates of ATP turnover. Myxococcus xanthus is a gram-negative soil bacteria, and is one of the few bacteria known to encode a PK. Bacteria that contain the AK gene have shown to be more survivable during times of environmental stress. It is still unclear what the exact mechanism is that allows the addition of AK in bacteria to show significant survivability. M. xanthus is used as a model system for studying development and multicellular behavior in bacteria. Under times of environmental stress the cells aggregate to form mound-like fruiting bodies that contain spores, providing safety for the majority of the colony until the environmental stressor passes. This developmental process of fruiting body formation is arrested when the AK gene is knocked-out (∆Ark). In this study we created two plasmids that contain the AK gene for Limulus polyphemus (horseshoe crab). These plasmids can be used in future research into the role of AKs in cell motility and fruiting body formation in M. xanthus.


Fraga, Dean




Biochemistry | Developmental Biology | Molecular Biology | Other Cell and Developmental Biology | Structural Biology


arginine kinase, phosphagen kinase, fruiting bodies, Myxococcus xanthus, bacteria, motility

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2015 Scott K. Bingman