To access this work you must either be on the Smith College campus OR have valid Smith login credentials.

On Campus users: To access this work if you are on campus please Select the Download button.

Off Campus users: To access this work from off campus, please select the Off-Campus button and enter your Smith username and password when prompted.

Non-Smith users: You may request this item through Interlibrary Loan at your own library.

Publication Date


First Advisor

Christine A. White-Ziegler

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Biological Sciences


UPEC, Transcriptomics, Growth experiment, RNA-seq, Pathogenicity


Escherichia coli (E. coli) reside in and transit through several environments that require them to adapt to the different challenges presented in each niche. Specifically, the pathogenic strains of E. coli can sense several environmental cues that trigger a large suite of virulence genes to turn on and cause infection. Worldwide, UPEC strains cause approximately 80% of community-acquired urinary tract infections (UTIs). These bacteria are highly pathogenic in the bladder but are commensals in the gut indicating that the transfer of UPEC from the gut to the bladder provides signals that initiate colonization. To test this hypothesis, we are assessing the impact of two cues that differ between the two environments, oxygen level and carbon source. To mimic the conditions, UPEC is grown in minimal medium containing glycerol (“gut”) or casamino acids (“bladder”) as the carbon source under microaerobic oxygen levels at 37 ̊C and is compared to growth under aerobic conditions. By isolating RNA under these conditions and analyzing the transcriptome derived by RNA-Seq, we aim to understand how bacteria sense and respond to the varying carbon sources and oxygen levels they experience in these host niches and whether these impact virulence.


2020 Grace M. Moore. Access limited to the Smith College community and other researchers while on campus. Smith College community members also may access from off-campus using a Smith College log-in. Other off-campus researchers may request a copy through Interlibrary Loan for personal use.




62 pages : color illustrations. Includes bibliographical references (pages 41-43)