Belmont University Research Symposium (BURS)

Publication Date



Sciences and Mathematics, College of


Biology, Department of

BURS Faculty Advisor

Dr. Schoenfeld

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation


Bordetella pertussis is a gram-negative, coccobacillus bacteria that is the causative agent of whooping cough. Despite vaccination programs, current research demonstrates that the number of whooping cough cases is on the rise and that the strains circulating today are genetically distinct from strains of the past. Within these emerging strains, there are several genes that are yet to be characterized. We choose to characterize gene 03309, which has been labeled as a "phage-like protein". A protein Blast reported that this DNA sequence is the most similar to the toxin antitoxin system of other bacteria which refers to two or more genes that play a role in cell growth and death. In order to determine the function of gene 03309, we performed DNA cloning to knock the gene out of Bordetella pertussis. Our next steps will be to test this gene's function in Bordetella pertussis. Since there has been such limited characterization of the genome of Bordetella pertussis, this research is important in creating a mutant strain that can be used in further studies for testing pertussis.