Recent studies have characterized both novel arginine kinase (AK) genes in bacteria, extending the phylogenetic realm in which they were previously thought to occur. Elimination of the AK gene in the bacteria Myxococcus xanthus, gave rise to increased salt and pH sensitivity. Surprisingly, the AK gene was found to be required for normal development of M. xanthus during times of decreased nutrient availability, inciting the need for further research on the enzyme in this bacterium. The research described here was begun in hopes of furthering the investigation of the role of AK in the bacterium Myxococcus xanthus. As such, the M. xanthus Δark mutant was transformed with the original M. xanthus ark gene (MyxoAK), both with and without a His-tag, as well as with the horseshoe crab AK homolog (HcAK). Inserting the HcAK gene in isolated M. xanthus cultures alongside insertions of the bacterium’s original AK gene in others was performed so that the effects these homologs have on the bacterium can be evaluated in future studies. Successful transformation of various pBJ114 plasmids containing the different AK genes was confirmed with kanamycin resistance and homologous recombination was verified through galK counter-selection. Continuation of this work may then include constructing M. xanthus Δark mutant strains with HcAK-His and, secondly, assessing the transformants’ responses to non-starvation and starvation stress, as compared to the wild-type (DK1622) and the M. xanthus Δark strains.


Fraga, Dean




Evolution | Laboratory and Basic Science Research | Microbiology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2016 Shelby N. Kratt