2023 4 B1

BIOL446: Aquificales regulate intracellular pH

By: Paul Gonzalez

Department: Biology

Faculty Advisor: Dr. José R. De La Torre

Members of the class Aquificae are thermophilic bacteria which are found in hydrothermal environments. Some members of the Aquificae, such as Hydrogenivirga caldilitoris, are acidophiles, preferring to grow at acidic pH. In contrast, other Aquificae are alkaliphiles and grow best at pH levels above 7. Bacteria growing in extreme pH environments are known to regulate their intracellular pH levels using a variety of mechanisms including proton motor force (PMF), antiporters, proton consumption, and passive support. In this project, I have compared the genomes of acidophilic and alkaliphlic members of the Aquificae. In particular, I have focused on genes encoding putative proton intake for optimum pH level. By identifying genes found only in acidophilic or alkaliphilic genomes, I hope to uncover the genetic basis for pH adaptation in the extremophilic bacteria.