Understanding the role of virulence loci within pathogenic organisms can be vital in exploring the evolution of disease. Streptomyces species are generally non-pathogenic soil saprophytes, yet within their genome we can find macrophage infectivity potentiator-like proteins (MIPs) (Clark et al., 2013). MIPs are a subset of immunophilins associated with virulence in a range of micro-organisms (Norville et al., 2011). It is unknown the role they possess in non-pathogenic strains such as Streptomyces coelicolor M145. This project will identify the role of MIPs in a non-pathogenic strain through cloning, overexpression and knock out of three genes encoding putative MIP-like proteins (SCO1638, SCO1639 and SCO2620). The phenotypes will then be characterised by growth under contrasting conditions. Antibiotic production will also be measured and compared to the wild-type M145 strain. The overexpression and mutant strains will also be tested for the ability to infect amoeba using amoeba infection assays compared to a wild-type control. The results from this study will contribute to the understanding of the role of MIPs and therefore the evolution of virulence within Streptomyces species.


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