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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Microsatellite Analysis Of Culex Tarsalis Populations In Montana, Kaitlin Stromberg Apr 2019

Microsatellite Analysis Of Culex Tarsalis Populations In Montana, Kaitlin Stromberg

Life and Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Theses

West Nile Virus (WNV) has been present in Montana since 2002. The primary vector of WNV in Montana is Culex tarsalis. At Carroll College, the purpose of the WNV project is to survey for the presence of the virus across the state and create a risk model in real time. The goal of this particular study was to find a microsatellite protocol that consistently works in order to create a reliable landscape genetics model for C. tarsalis populations. Three reagent sets were used in order to test which reagent conditions best amplified the three loci, followed by gel electrophoresis to ...


Space Race, Siri And The Central Dogma: A Contemporary Nursing Analysis Of Antibiotics Resistance, Donovan Lucibello Apr 2019

Space Race, Siri And The Central Dogma: A Contemporary Nursing Analysis Of Antibiotics Resistance, Donovan Lucibello

Nursing Undergraduate Theses

In the age of information, antibiotic resistance is still a black-box problem in clinical practice; pathogens are often defined in terms of which pharmaceuticals are no longer effective, and treatment protocols are prescribed prophylactically; often at strengths that are in excess of what is known about the pathogen’s susceptibilities or even its identity. All antibiotic resistance mechanisms involve the expression of proteins that provide resistance capabilities. These modified proteins should be detectable by analyzing DNA (or RNA intermediates) that code for them in order to determine a pathogen’s threat profile. Next-Generation and nanopore DNA sequencing technologies are capable ...


Growth And Production Of Hops (Humulus Lupulus) Varieties In The Helena Valley (Mt), Reegan Debruycker Apr 2019

Growth And Production Of Hops (Humulus Lupulus) Varieties In The Helena Valley (Mt), Reegan Debruycker

Life and Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Theses

Hops (Humulus lupulus) production has been rapidly increasing in the United States due to the rise in popularity of craft beer. The majority of the hops produced in the United States currently originates from Washington due to the ideal climate conditions and historical infrastructure development. In Spring 2017, we planted commercial varieties of hops and measured their growth over the course of the summer before harvesting in early autumn. Additional varieties were planted in Spring 2018. Average aboveground dry biomass and height measurements were gathered for each plant bi-weekly. No significant difference was found for any of the plants in ...


Bioinformatic Analysis Of The Flathead Lake Monster Bacteriophage, Jake Plagenz Apr 2019

Bioinformatic Analysis Of The Flathead Lake Monster Bacteriophage, Jake Plagenz

Life and Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Theses

The Flathead Lake Monster (FLM) bacteriophage was noted to have an abnormally-long tail upon its discovery. Once its genome was sequenced, this research sought out to identify the 117 FLM gene products using the BLASTp sequence alignment algorithm. This resulted in the discovery of five genes that are considered to be novel to the FLM. A specific gene within the FLM genome called the tape measure gene (TMG) was further analyzed once it was identified based on homology with other phages. Previous literature has suggested that a longer TMG can manifest itself as a longer bacteriophage tail length. This observation ...


Land Cover Association Of Culex Tarsalis In Western Montana, H. Keenan Mcnally Apr 2018

Land Cover Association Of Culex Tarsalis In Western Montana, H. Keenan Mcnally

Life and Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Theses

Culex tarsalis is the major vector of West Nile Virus (WNV) in Montana, so a higher concentration of Cx. tarsalis would most likely correspond to an area of high WNV incidence. Previous studies performed in the U.S. found that wetland land cover had a positive influence on Cx. tarsalis, while the studies on Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) presented conflicting results. In this experiment I attempted to answer the question: Does land cover type and NDVI affect Culex tarsalis distribution in Western Montana? It was hypothesized that both land cover type and a high NDVI value would have a ...


Genetic Diversity Of Dermacentor Andersoni In Western Montana Via Inter-Simple Sequence Repeats, Nicholas Hensley Apr 2018

Genetic Diversity Of Dermacentor Andersoni In Western Montana Via Inter-Simple Sequence Repeats, Nicholas Hensley

Life and Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Theses

Demacentor andersoni (Ixodidae) is one of the most important disease vectors in Montana. Ticks transmit more animal disease agents than any other blood-sucking arthropods. Ticks are the second most important vector in public health and the most important in veterinary medicine. Dermacentor andersoni is the vector of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Colorado tick fever, tularemia, bovine anaplasmosis, and Powassan encephalitis. Population genetic studies of disease vectors can allow insight into the vectors contribution to the spread of disease and possible control strategies. This study used inter-simple sequence repeats (ISSRs) to assess genetic variation within and among populations. An analysis of ...


Influence Of Avian Distributions On West Nile Virus Infection Rates, Kaitlin Mchugh Apr 2018

Influence Of Avian Distributions On West Nile Virus Infection Rates, Kaitlin Mchugh

Life and Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Theses

Evidence has shown that human infection rates for West Nile virus are largely dependent on viral amplification that occurs between competent avian host species and mosquito vectors. The threat of West Nile virus to humans is influenced by the diversity and competence of avian host species available to the mosquito vectors. This study used data collected through avian surveys in Montana to analyze the diversity and competence of avian species in those areas. These data were compared to existing GIS model predictions of avian diversity and avian viral competence in Montana to test the accuracy of the model. The GIS ...


Genetic Identification Of Culex Tarsalis Host Plants From Extracted Gut Contents, Bob Pearhill Apr 2018

Genetic Identification Of Culex Tarsalis Host Plants From Extracted Gut Contents, Bob Pearhill

Life and Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Theses

Since its introduction to the United States in 1999, West Nile Virus (WNV) has become the most prevalent arthropod borne virus (arbovirus) in the Americas. WNV possesses the potential to manifest encephalitic symptoms in both humans and horses, making it an area of constant concern. The most common vector of WNV in the Western United States is the mosquito Culex tarsalis, which likely derives WNV from migrating bird populations that act as viral reservoirs. C. tarsalis blood feeds specifically for nutrients needed in reproduction, and imbibes floral nectar or other plant sugars for energy. Work with other mosquito species, including ...


Investigating The Role Of Dnc-2 And Dli-1 On Ampa Receptor Mediated Behaviors In Caenorhabditis Elegans, Natalie Oberding Apr 2018

Investigating The Role Of Dnc-2 And Dli-1 On Ampa Receptor Mediated Behaviors In Caenorhabditis Elegans, Natalie Oberding

Life and Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Theses

Γ-amino-3-hydroxy-5methylisoxazole-4-proprionic acid (AMPA) receptors (AMPARs) are protein complexes involved in excitatory neurotransmission. AMPARs are tetrameric structures consisting of the pairings of GluA1, GluA2, GluA3, and GluA4 subunits. Dctn2 and Dync1li1 were found to interact with GluA2 in an immunoprecipitation screen that was performed on postnatal day 14 rat brains. DNC-2 and DLI-1 were identified as the C. elegans homologs of Dctn2 and Dync1li1, respectively, and are components of motor proteins that transport cargo throughout the cell. The goal of this project was to determine whether knocking down DNC-2 and DLI-1 by RNAi affects AMPA Receptor-mediated behaviors, including mechanosensation and chemosensation ...


Analysis Of Antimicrobial Peptide Efficacy Against Chytridiomycosis From Skin Secretions Of Columbia Spotted Frogs (Lithobates Luteiventris), Emma Esposito Apr 2018

Analysis Of Antimicrobial Peptide Efficacy Against Chytridiomycosis From Skin Secretions Of Columbia Spotted Frogs (Lithobates Luteiventris), Emma Esposito

Life and Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Theses

Amphibian populations have been declining in size in recent years. A major contributing factor to this decline is the fungal disease chytridiomycosis. Chytridiomycosis occurs when the zoospores of the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) imbed into amphibian skin and disrupt the homeostatic functions the skin provides, leading to death in most amphibians. Amphibian skin can produce antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) that inhibit Bd infection. The goal of this experiment was to determine whether or not the amount and type of AMPs a frog produces affect its ability to defend against chytridiomycosis. Columbia spotted frogs were chosen as a model organism because they ...


The Effects Of Uv Radiation On Metarhizium Anisopliae, Victoria Hill Apr 2018

The Effects Of Uv Radiation On Metarhizium Anisopliae, Victoria Hill

Life and Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Theses

The development of fungal insecticides as biological control agents provides a safer, more natural approach to pest control than chemical insecticides. Metarhizium anisopliae, one of the most widely used mycoinsecticides, is one fungal species of high economic potential in current use. However, a rapid decrease in pathogen activity in the field due to ultraviolet radiation presents a problem for efficacy and further adoption by farmers. The present study seeks to determine if certain strains of M. anisopliae are more tolerant of UV radiation, thus providing the potential for higher effectiveness in the field. Utilizing a novel method for examining fungal ...


Assessment Of Bridges In Eastern Montana To Identify Active Season Bat Roosts, Rachel Hopkins Apr 2018

Assessment Of Bridges In Eastern Montana To Identify Active Season Bat Roosts, Rachel Hopkins

Life and Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Theses

Bats fulfill important niches in the ecosystems they occupy and control insect populations that are agricultural pests. Bat species across North America face several significant threats including habitat degradation/roost disturbance, wind turbine-related deaths, and White-Nose Syndrome (WNS). In Montana, bat roost information has been lacking in the nine eastern counties where Northern Myotis (Myotis septentrionalis) is listed as Threatened, as well as a large number of additional central and eastern Montana counties. To identify active season roosts across these regions, I surveyed bridges for bat use. From the surveys, I established baseline knowledge about bat roosting preferences and the ...


Modeling Culex Tarsalis Habitat Suitability In The Great Plains Of Montana, Teal Bullick Apr 2018

Modeling Culex Tarsalis Habitat Suitability In The Great Plains Of Montana, Teal Bullick

Life and Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Theses

As the leading cause of arbovirus encephalitis in the United States, West Nile Virus (WNV) poses a public health risk in the state of Montana where infection rates in mosquitoes can be as high as 15%. Spatial modeling can serve as a tool for predicting outbreaks and directing prevention measures. Models for the entire state of Montana currently exist that predict WNV risk and habitat suitability of the predominant vector species Culex tarsalis. After collecting additional mosquito vector samples in the summer of 2017, I used niche modeling techniques with historic and new presence-only data to build a Cx. tarsalis ...


Arsenic And Tetracycline Resistant Microbial Diversity In High Arsenic Concentration Sediments, Kurt Parker May 2017

Arsenic And Tetracycline Resistant Microbial Diversity In High Arsenic Concentration Sediments, Kurt Parker

Health Sciences Undergraduate Theses

The Upper Tenmile Creek, which gives Helena most of its public water supply, is contaminated by historic mining activity. This mining adit drains into the creek creating elevated arsenic concentrations in the stream. These elevated arsenic levels can cause co-selection for arsenic and antibiotic resistance in microbial communities. The presence of these resistance genes was assessed through PCR near the Susie Lode and Lee Mountain mines in the Upper Tenmile Creek Superfund Site. Then isolated strains of bacteria were grown on selective media and their 16S genes were assessed to find the identity of each bacterial colony. There was detection ...


Climatic Factors Limiting The Distribution Of Dermacentor Andersoni In Montana’S Rocky Mountain Region, Kyle Griffith May 2017

Climatic Factors Limiting The Distribution Of Dermacentor Andersoni In Montana’S Rocky Mountain Region, Kyle Griffith

Life and Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Theses

The Rocky Mountain Wood tick, Dermacentor andersoni, serves as the primary vector for the Colorado tick fever virus in Montana’s Rocky Mountain region. This disease presents symptoms such as fever, headaches, and myalgia; and generally lasts for approximately three weeks. Factors affecting the distribution of D. andersoni in Montana are not well known, limiting our ability to locate areas endemic to the CTF virus. To determine if various climatic factors influenced the distribution of D. andersoni Montana’s Rocky Mountain region, tick samples from Western Montana were collected and relative tick abundance was tested for association with six different ...


Amphibian Risk Assessment In Montana: An Evaluation Of Chytridiomycosis In Columbia Spotted Frogs (Lithobates Luteiventris), Alex Kurtz May 2017

Amphibian Risk Assessment In Montana: An Evaluation Of Chytridiomycosis In Columbia Spotted Frogs (Lithobates Luteiventris), Alex Kurtz

Life and Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Theses

The fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, has been found to negatively impact amphibian populations around the world. This fungus can have multiple effects on frog physiology, including changes in osmotic regulation that may lead to death. B. dendrobatidis has been shown to be the driving force for many amphibian population crashes and extinctions around the world. The purpose of this project was to build a predictive model of B. dendrobatidis infection, one that would be used to assess population susceptibility in order to identify populations of amphibians at risk of infection. This was accomplished by statistical analyses of several components that contribute ...


Reconstructing Holocene Fire And Landscape History Using Charcoal And Lake Sediments In Big Belt Mountains, Montana, Katherine Gildner May 2017

Reconstructing Holocene Fire And Landscape History Using Charcoal And Lake Sediments In Big Belt Mountains, Montana, Katherine Gildner

Life and Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Theses

A 4215-year-old sediment record from a shallow kettle lake in the Big Belt Mountains of Central Montana was analyzed for charcoal to develop a preliminary fire history for this area. Two sediment cores, each approximately 155cm long, were retrieved and described. One was analyzed for charcoal content and radiocarbon dated. A simple age-depth model was constructed using the radiocarbon dates from two wood fragments (at 14cm and 143cm depth) to provide a preliminary age constraint to the fire history. Three distinct fire regimes are indicated in the charcoal record. The first was a period of low fire intensity and frequency ...


Topographical And Climatic Factors Influencing The Distribtion Of D. Andersoni Across Western Montana, Tanner Gustavsen May 2017

Topographical And Climatic Factors Influencing The Distribtion Of D. Andersoni Across Western Montana, Tanner Gustavsen

Life and Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Theses

The Rocky Mountain wood tick, Dermacentor andersoni, has a high prevalence in the Western United States and is a known vector for Colorado Tick Fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and other infectious diseases. Though prevalent, their distribution is still poorly understood. The goal of this study was to examine topographical and climatic factors influencing D. andersoni’s distribution over Western Montana. This study consists of data collected from 145 total sites from 2013 to 2016. At each site, ticks were captured using a drag sampling technique and were categorized in terms of abundance. Various climatic and topographical data were obtained ...


Exploring The Role Of Dync1li1 In The Trafficking Of Glua2 Containing Ampa Receptors, Leah Esposito May 2017

Exploring The Role Of Dync1li1 In The Trafficking Of Glua2 Containing Ampa Receptors, Leah Esposito

Life and Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Theses

AMPA receptors are glutamate receptors that are found in the post-synaptic region of a neuron. They are one of the main receptors that are responsible for excitatory signaling in the central nervous system. The trafficking of these receptors is an area of knowledge that is not well developed, but is essential to a complete understanding of these receptor proteins. My research was focused on exploring the role that Dync1li1 has in the trafficking of GluA2-containing AMPARs. In order to investigate this role, the gene encoding Dync1li1 was amplified via PCR, cloned into a mammalian expression vector and transfected into HEK293 ...


Ecological Effects On The Distribution Of Culex Tarsalis Mosquitos, Paige Plancich May 2017

Ecological Effects On The Distribution Of Culex Tarsalis Mosquitos, Paige Plancich

Life and Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Theses

West Nile Virus (WNV) is an increasing problem worldwide due to vector competence and enzootic transmissibility between vector and host. The most prevalent vector of WNV in the state of Montana is the Culex tarsalis mosquito, which is found in varying ecological conditions such as shallow, standing water and at high temperatures (14°C – 34°C). These conditions are not well understood in Montana, thus limiting predictions concerning potential outbreaks. This study tested the ecological effects on C. tarsalis and found that land cover and May precipitation were significant factors that affect the ability of C. tarsalis to thrive in ...


Genetic Differentiation Among Culex Tarsalis Populations In Montana, Dan Lockman May 2017

Genetic Differentiation Among Culex Tarsalis Populations In Montana, Dan Lockman

Life and Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Theses

Undergraduate researchers at Carroll College have been working to detect West Nile virus in the mosquito Culex tarsalis, the primary vector for the disease in the state of Montana. The purpose of this research is to use West Nile positive detections along with ecological data to create a risk model for the state of Montana that could predict the likelihood of a West Nile outbreak. The research presented in this paper attempts to further the goal of the risk model by determining the degree of genetic differentiation among different mosquito populations in Montana. Determining the genetic relatedness of different populations ...


Microbial Community Characterization In An Arsenic Contaminated Watershed, Sarah Ladd May 2017

Microbial Community Characterization In An Arsenic Contaminated Watershed, Sarah Ladd

Health Sciences Undergraduate Theses

Helena, MT gets over 50% of its drinking water from Tenmile Creek. With a rich mining history, over 100 abandoned hard-rock mines have introduced arsenic into this aquatic ecosystem. The presence of arsenic may contribute to a change in bacteria community composition. The objective of this research was to detect changes in overall microbial diversity in response to arsenic concentrations. Sediment grabs were collected from ten different sites; three controls (/kg As), three mid-level arsenic concentrations (100-200 mg/kg As), and four high-level arsenic concentrations (250-6000 mg/kg As). Sediment from each site was plated on different media containing As ...


Natural Vertical Transmission Of Wnv In Montana, Inderbir Bains Mar 2017

Natural Vertical Transmission Of Wnv In Montana, Inderbir Bains

Life and Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Theses

West Nile Virus (WNV) emerged and rapidly spread throughout the United States within several years. WNV is spread in Montana primarily by the mosquito vector Culex tarsalis. Horizontal transmission of WNV has been extensively studied, while little is known regarding vertical transmission. Previous research suggests vertical transmission is possible in controlled laboratory studies. This research attempts to document natural vertical transmission in Montana. Larvae were collected and analyzed for WNV via RTPCR. Results show no presence of natural vertical transmission. Culex larvae and adult male mosquito collection methods were insufficient, fluctuations in temperatures and variant rainfall were contributing factors. Future ...


Adsorption Of Human Hemoglobin Onto Chitin And Cellulose Surfaces, Stephen Schmidt Apr 2016

Adsorption Of Human Hemoglobin Onto Chitin And Cellulose Surfaces, Stephen Schmidt

Chemistry and Physics Undergraduate Theses

When a chitosan (chitin derivative) acetate buffer system is combined with a hemoglobin (Hb) acetate buffer system, three distributions of hydrodynamic radii are observed: Chitosan/H2O, Hb/H2O, and a third unexpected distribution – Chitosan/Hb/H2O complex. This suggests that chitosan and Hb interact aggregate. Neither human serum albumin nor fibrinogen interact or form complexes with either chitin or cellulose. Therefore, chitosan and possibly chitin may be selective to which proteins it binds to. The adsorption of hemoglobin onto chitin and cellulose has yet to be quantified, and this work aims to investigate and quantify a possible affinity of hemoglobin ...


Does Drainage Affect Diversity Within The Simulium Arcticum Complex In The Clark Fork River?, Chance Stewart Apr 2016

Does Drainage Affect Diversity Within The Simulium Arcticum Complex In The Clark Fork River?, Chance Stewart

Life and Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Theses

Chromosomal rearrangements seem to play a role in the speciation process of Simulium arcticum. This is an exception to the current dogma of speciation in most animals. Two models have been proposed for dispersal of S. arcticum. One relies on females returning to their natal sites to lay eggs; the other states that females choose the best available environment to lay their eggs. Chromosomal diversity has been shown to remain the same at various sites each year. With this in mind, larvae were collected from Bearmouth along the Clark Fork River, analyzed in micromorphological detail, and compared with larval chromosomes ...


Genetic Diversity In Dermacentor Andersoni Populations In Western Montana, Ezekial Koslosky Apr 2016

Genetic Diversity In Dermacentor Andersoni Populations In Western Montana, Ezekial Koslosky

Life and Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Theses

Ticks have been made a top priority for analysis as disease vectors. Specifically the tick Dermacentor andersoni is a vector for Colorado Tick Fever, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Bovine Anaplasmosis, and Powassan Encephalitis. This study was designed to assist in the utilization of the current protocols for a West Nile Virus vector distribution map in Montana and apply these to develop a D. andersoni distribution map. Samples were collected from across western Montana, and the 16S mitochondrial DNA gene was amplified. Six tick populations were tested, and there were sixteen different haplotypes found. However, when comparing these haplotypes there was ...


Comparison Of Capture Methods And Infection Rates For The Tick, Dermacentor Andersoni, In Montana, Hanna Dotson Apr 2016

Comparison Of Capture Methods And Infection Rates For The Tick, Dermacentor Andersoni, In Montana, Hanna Dotson

Life and Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Theses

Montana is home to the tick Dermacentor andersoni which serves as a vector for Colorado tick fever. It is important to study ticks in the field to improve capture rates for the purpose of testing infection rates. To determine the most effective way to capture ticks, four separate capturing methods were assembled in two tick prevalent locations. These methods include AAAP pheromones, CO2, drag netting, and AAAP in combination with CO2. I hypothesized that the combination of AAAP and CO2 would yield the best capture results. I implemented a mark-recapture study using fluorescent powder and hypothesized that CO2 and pheromones ...


Is Hif-1Α Required For V-Atpase-Dependent Regulation Of Glycolytic Enzymes?, Tyler Northrup Apr 2016

Is Hif-1Α Required For V-Atpase-Dependent Regulation Of Glycolytic Enzymes?, Tyler Northrup

Life and Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Theses

Vacuolar-ATPase (V-ATPase) is frequently up-regulated in tumors and tumor cell lines where it contributes to tumorigenic phenotypes, including the Warburg Effect (e.g. the phenomenon where glycolysis is preferred over oxidative phosphorylation (Vander Heiden et al. 2009)). The preferential use of glycolytic metabolism favored by tumor cells may be caused by at least two factors (Vander Heiden et al. 2009). First, the metabolic intermediates generated by the citric acid (TCA) cycle are used in a variety of anabolic pathways in the cell, and may supply a ready source of intermediate buildingblocks for biosynthetic processes. Second, hypoxia observed in some tumors ...


Isolation And Characterization Of A Bacteriophage The Flathead Lake Monster, Ian Lorang Apr 2016

Isolation And Characterization Of A Bacteriophage The Flathead Lake Monster, Ian Lorang

Life and Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Theses

It has been suggested that bacteriophages are the most abundant entities on the planet. The goal of this study was to isolate and characterize a novel phage. Few phages have been isolated, which provides this study a good chance to isolate a novel phage from Northwest Montana where a phage has never been isolated. Using plaque techniques, restriction digest, and phage enzyme tool a phage was isolated and named the Flathead Lake Monster (FLM) and is a novel phage based on results from the study. FLM had abnormally small plaque diameters and an unusually long tail. Compared to literature on ...


Using Glycosylated Hemoglobin And Heat Shock Protein 70 As Thermal Biomarkers In North American Pikas (Ochotona Princeps), Steven Edmonds Apr 2016

Using Glycosylated Hemoglobin And Heat Shock Protein 70 As Thermal Biomarkers In North American Pikas (Ochotona Princeps), Steven Edmonds

Life and Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Theses

Pikas (Ochotona princeps), high altitude lagomorphs, are potentially one of the first mammals to be directly affected by global warming. Population decline has been observed in pika populations in Nevada and California. The cause of their decline is unknown but several studies suggest that heat stress, especially at lower altitudes, is a contributing factor. In Montana, populations are potentially stressed in the same way. One hypothesis is that direct thermal stress is causing population decline. This study looks at heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) and glycosylated hemoglobin levels in high and low altitude pika populations as biomarkers for thermal stress ...