Makemson Lab
Bacterial Bioluminescence and Bacteriophage Research

Links to Makemson's Courses:  BCH 3033 General Biochemistry (Summer-2016, Fall-2016, Spring 2017)
                                                 MCB 3020General Microbiology   MCB 3020 Lab (Fall, 2016)
                                                  BSC 1010L and 1011L (Fall 2016, Spring 2017) SEA PHAGES Lab
Link to Makemson's CV


Most Recent Student Projects:
    Jose Roble:  Extracellular Molecules Produced by Vibrio harveyi
Sea Phages Summer Research:Emely Pozo, Mariana Santo, Gerardo Diaz, Ana Sosa. Pseudomonas, Serratia and Bacillus Phages.

Current Interests: 

1. Bacteriophages isolated from soil using hosts found in soil:SEA PHAGES (HHMI)

2. The Arginine Effect.   And, assay of quorum sensing inhibitors, synthetic and those in Ginseng (Link to Recent Poster Presentations).  Quorum sensing and molecular aspects of luciferase in Shewanella, Photobacterium and Vibrio.

    Arginine was the first molecule discovered to induce luciferase synthesis (Coffee, 1967).  Nealson, Platt and Hastings (1970) showed, in a landmark paper, that the arginine effect was only operative during "Autoinduction" of luciferase synthesis.  Today, autoinduction is called "Quorum Sensing" which in Vibrio harveyi is the integration of three autoinducers (produced by the bacteria themselves) through a complex phoshorylation cascade that includes small regulatory RNA's at Lux R the master regulator of the luciferase operon (lux) and many other genes (beautiful work from the Bassler lab).  We are interested in how arginine, one of the common 20 amino acids, is able to stimulate luciferase synthesis in this system as well as the other words of the luminous bacterial communication system.

Luminous bacteria on Seawater Agar Medium   

Luminous Bacteria on Peptone-Yeast Extract-Glycerol Seawater Agar
Both Images the same plate: left by room light, right by the bacterial luminescence.
Can you see the dark mutant colonies?

Arginine Effect in HEPES Minimal Broth

The lab group:  students participating in their own research projects.  The lab is equiped with photometers (some home built), spectrophotometers, luminescence imaging (chilled CCD), PCR thermalcycler, Agarose Electrophoresis and PAGE, incubators, Luciferase assay photometer, and other biochemical/microbiologcial equipment.

Weekly lab meeting:  discussion of ancient to recent papers on bacterial bioluminescence.