Belmont University Research Symposium (BURS)

Publication Date

Fall 3-29-2023


Sciences and Mathematics, College of


Biology, Department of

BURS Faculty Advisor

Elizabeth Schoenfeld

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation


Bordetella pertussis is a gram-negative bacterium that is responsible for causing whooping cough, which is a severe, respiratory infection in humans. Whooping cough is an 8–12-week disease that renders a patient’s immune system defenseless and susceptible to serious secondary conditions. A previous study identified genes essential in B. pertussis and required for pathogenesis. One of the essential genes identified was BPD420_03561. Gene BPD420_03561 is believed to encode for repressor proteins. Phage repressors interfere with the lytic and lysogenic cycles of bacteriophage replication. The goal of this study was to determine the characteristics of the gene 03561 in B. pertussis. Gene cloning techniques were used to knock out the gene from B. pertussis. The knockout of gene 03561 will provide new insights into the role of its gene product in B. pertussis. Some bacteria carry phage DNA in their chromosomes called prophage that can sometimes contribute to the pathogenesis of the bacterium. Determining the role of phage-related genes in B. pertussis is beneficial in understanding the potential relationship between B. pertussis and a bacteriophage.