Date of Graduation

5-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Cell & Molecular Biology (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Biological Sciences

Advisor

Steven L. Stephenson

Committee Member

Frederick W. Spiegel

Second Committee Member

Allen L. Szalanski

Third Committee Member

Jeffrey A. Lewis

Keywords

Biological sciences; Cellular slime molds; Dictyostelid; Dictyostelium purpureum; Molecular phylogenetics

Abstract

Dictyostelids (cellular slime molds) are eukaryotic microorganisms that have both unicellular and multicellular stages during their life cycle. In this study, a molecular phylogenetic analysis was conducted for isolates of one species (Dictyostelium purpureum) based DNA sequences of the ITS, 5.8S and SSU regions of nuclear rDNA. Moreover, a detailed morphological study was carried out using images obtained with both dissecting and compound microscopes. Mating experiments were carried out to assess macrocysts formation between each pair of isolates. The constructed molecular phylogenetic trees indicate that (1) D. purpureum isolates are more closely related to each other than to other species of dictyostelids and (2) several subgroups can be noted within the total isolates of D. purpureum.

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