Genetic and Physiological Control of Protective Antigen Synthesis by Bacillus anthracis
Annual progress rept. no. 3, 1 Jan-31 Dec 1982
MASSACHUSETTS UNIV AMHERST DEPT OF MICROBIOLOGY
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The primary objective of the research is to gain information and to develop genetic systems that will contribute to the development of an improved vaccine for anthrax. Genetic and physiological factors controlling synthesis and accumulation of protective antigen as well as the two other components of anthrax toxin are being investigated. Attention was concentrated on the following areas during the past year 1 The influence of the B. anthracis plasmid, pBA1, on the physiology of the organism, and 2 Genetic exchange systems for B. anthracis. Although cured strains grow more poorly in synthetic media than their uncured parental strains, experimental results suggest it is unlikely that loss of the plasmid results in acquisition of specific growth requirements. It seems more likely that loss of the plasmid affects regulatory or transport activities of the cell. The problem in transformation of B. anthacis protcoplasts lies in the difficulty in regenerating protoplasts into cells following exposure to DNA. Recently regeneration of protoplasts produced by a new procedure has been possible and transformation with small plasmid DNA at a very low frequency has been demonstrated.