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Indiana University Bloomington

Department of Biology

Graduate Studies

Genetics, Cellular & Molecular Sciences Training Grant

Trainee Profile

Sandra Sanchez

Photo of Sandra Sanchez
Research Image(s)
Flagella are stained green; the membranes of all cells are red.

Flagellar stability is deficient in a cwlQ mutant. Epifluorescence microscopy has revealed that cwlQ mutants have fragile flagella which break from the cell body. Flagella are stained green; the membranes of all cells are red.

Flagellar hooks are observed as green puncta. The hooks in these mutants are fragile and puncta can be observed next to the cell body (stained red).

Flagellar hooks in the cwlQ mutant are unstably attached to the cell membrane. Hooks are observed as green puncta. The hooks in these mutants are fragile and puncta can be observed next to the cell body.

Graduate Student
Contact Information
By telephone: 812-856-2559 (lab)
JH 432
Kearns Lab
Program
Department of Biology:
Microbiology
Education
BS in Biology with Honors, 2013, California State University Northridge
Awards
California State Northridge Works symposium. Feb 2011. 2nd place winner.
Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) Nov 2010. Travel awards recipient.
Society for Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) October 2014. Travel awards recipient.
Research Description

Bacillus subtilis which is a gram positive, rod shaped bacteria that achieves motility by use of its peritrichous flagella. B subtilis utilizes autolysins in order to remodel its peptidoglycan not only for growth but also for cell division. I am interested in investigating how B. subtilis utilizes autolysins to modify its thick peptidoglycan cell wall in order to insert and rotate these propeller-like flagella.

A deletion in cwlQ, a poorly studied autolysin in Bacillus subtilis, has been observed to have a motility defect. Fluorescence microscopy has revealed that the flagella and hook are fragile and break from the cell body in these mutants.

To determine what area of the flagella and hook is compromised in a CwlQ mutant I will utilize fluorescence microscopy, biochemistry assays and molecular genetics. I hope to be able to answer questions like “how is flagellar stability related to fundamental aspects of bacterial cell envelope synthesis and turnover?” “What role does CwlQ fulfill in establishing flagellar stability?”

Select Presentations
Elucidating the amino acid sequence of an extracellular peptide in Streptococcus pneumoniae.
  • SPUR symposium, UCLA August 2011.
Elucidating the transcriptional regulation of genes by NpF6355 in Nostoc punctiforme.
  • Southern California American Society for Microbiology (SCASM) Sept 2010.
  • Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) Nov 2010.
  • California State University Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology. (CSUPERB) Nov 2010.
  • California State Northridge Works symposium. Feb 2011.
  • International American Society for Microbiology. (International ASM) May 2011.
Characterization of sigB2 expression and identification of genes under its control in Nostoc punctiforme.
  • California State University Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology. (CSUPERB) Jan 2013.

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