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Advanced Imaging System for Enhancement of Research in the Molecular Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases


The objective of this equipment grant is to provide an imaging system with multiple capabilities beyond just general imaging of gel electrophoresis results and blots. The new imager provides densitometric abilities and quantitation of protein, PCR results, molecular weight calibration, FISH analysis, differential display to identify differential gene expression, and gel scoring in addition to other capabilities. This equipment is needed to aid in our department's goal to become nationally competitive in agricultural and medical research.

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NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: The primary agricultural problem this equipment grant helps to address is the elucidation of the contributing molecular factors for pathogenesis of E. coli isolates causing colibacillosis in poultry, cattle, and swine. This purpose of this grant is to increase the national competitiveness of the Department of Veterinary and Microbiological Sciences at North Dakota State University.

APPROACH: The approach for each of the projects will vary between the investigators and their projects. These projects include: 1) Performance of genomic subtraction hybridization between virulent and non-virulent avian Escherichia coli isolates in order to elucidate possible genes related to the pathogenesis of avian E. coli responsible for colibacillosis in chickens, turkeys, and other poultry and avian species. 2) Establish a collection of numerous E. coli isolates from symptomatic animals as well as E. coli obtained from the feces of apparently healthy animals for comparison using ECOR typing, putative and established virulence factors, and detection of various "high-pathogenicity islands" found in E. coli, Salmonella, and other members of the Enterobacteriaceae. Characterization also involves DNA fingerprinting and strain-typing these isolates. The host species include poultry, wild avian species, assorted domestic pets, cows, and swine. 3) Determine whether avian E. coli has the ability to survive macrophage or other phagocytic cell engulfment. 4) The characterization of a putative virulence plasmid and the arsH gene found in Escherichia coli 5) Rapid detection and epidemiology of foodborne pathogens in foodstuffs. 6) Molecular typing of Fusarium spp. and elucidation of mycotoxin production regulation.

PROGRESS: 2004/01 TO 2005/01<BR>
The Department of Veterinary and Microbiological Sciences, and in particular the Gibbs Laboratory, have used the new Imaging System provided by this award extensively. Currently, the Gibbs laboratory has 3 graduate students, 4 undergraduate students, and 2 technicians that are utilizing the Imaging System daily. In addition, the North Dakota State University Diagnostic Lab also uses this Imaging System several times weekly. The Imaging System gives us high-quality images of our gels and blots and provides a user-friendly method of saving and labeling images for seminars and publications. In addition, the Gibbs Laboratory is about to undertake some restriction mapping, and this Imaging System will be a great asset in getting started on this project. Without this equipment, being able to communcate and publish the research coming out of the Gibbs Laboratory would not be an easy task; with this equipment, our research has been very easy to document.
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IMPACT: 2004/01 TO 2005/01<BR>
We expect a significant number of publications (three are currently in progress) to be submiited using our Imaging System. In addition, as new faculty and students enter our department, we expect the use of the equipment to increase.

Gibbs, Penelope
North Dakota State University
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