First Advisor

Michael S. Bartlett

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Biology and University Honors




Plasmids, Thermophilic microorganisms, Archaebacteria -- Genetic aspects, Transcription factors, Molecular biology




Pyrococcus furiosus is an exceptional model organism for studies of life in extreme environments. Being a hyperthermophile, this archaeal species thrives at temperatures nearing that of boiling water. The underlying machinery for transcription in most archaeal species is poorly studied, and data concerning transcriptional regulation is limited. Transcription Factor B Subunit II (TFB2), a non-standard component of the transcription preinitiation complex in P. furiosus, is poorly understood regarding its function and mechanism. One hypothesis is that TFB2 is important for cellular response to oxidative stress. To test this, a plasmid that over-expresses the TFB2 protein was successfully transformed into P. furiosus COM1, as indicated by genetic isolation and PCR. Once successfully transformed, COM1 with excess TFB2 will be examined in order to see if its overexpression provides a protective effect against experimentally induced oxidative stress. These results will provide a baseline for future functional studies regarding the role of TFB2, ultimately furthering understanding of the underlying transcription machinery present within Pyrococcus furiosus and other archaea.


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