Honors Theses

Title

The Antifungal Occidiofungin Disrupts Morphological Switching in the Polymorphic Fungus Candida albicans

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of Biological Sciences

Degree

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

Major

Microbiology

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Abstract

Occidiofungin is a natural antifungal compound produced by Burkholderia contaminans MS14. Prior work has been shown occidiofungin to be effective against Candida albicans in its nonpathogenic yeast form. However, C. albicans is an opportunistic pathogen that requires a morphogenic switch to a filamentous form to cause disease. As previous work focusing on the non-pathogenic form has shown distinct biochemical and morphological changes with occidiofungin exposure, I hypothesis that the filamentous form of this fungi will also undergo identifiable changes that can be characterized. To this end, cells induced to undergo morphological switching in the presence of occidiofungin were analyzed by standard microbiological methods. Data showed that a lethal dose of the antifungal prevented hyphae formation while a sublethal dose slowed filament growth without obvious alterations in cell wall organization. These data adds to our understanding of occidiofungin’s potential as an antifungal compound to combat the pathogenic form of Candida albicans.

Publication Date

5-1-2019

First Advisor

Gordon, Donna M.

Second Advisor

Thornton, Justin A.

Third Advisor

Oppenheimer, Seth

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