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Extracellular Sporulation Signals of Clostridium perfringens

Labbee, Rachel
University of Massachusetts
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Clostridium perfringens has established itself as a leading cause of human foodborne illness in the U.S. This organism produces heat resistant spores. An enterotoxin is produced by some strains during sporulation and therefore the sequence of events leading to spore formation are especially important. Yet virtually nothing is know about the early events of this process. We have identified a sporulation factor (C. perfringens sporulation fact [CPSF]) produced by both enterotoxin-positive and -negative strains which stimulate the onset of sporulation and enterotoxin formation by this organism. The product(s) may be part of a signal transduction system. The signal transduction system in bacteria monitors the bacteria's environment and reacts to changes by chemical signals to the interior of cell. We will develop conditions to optimize the levels of this product then attempt to isolate and characterize it.
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Bacterial Pathogens
Escherichia coli