Publication Date

Fall 2017

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Claire Rinehart (Director), Dr. Kinchel Doerner and Dr. Sigrid Jacobshagen

Degree Program

Department of Biology

Degree Type

Master of Science


3-Methylindole and 4-methylphenol are cytotoxic and malodorant compounds derived from tryptophan and tyrosine, respectively. Each is present in swine waste lagoons and contributes to malodorous emissions from agricultural facilities. Clostridium scatologenes ATCC 25775 produces both compounds and serves as a model organism to study their metabolism and function. Through the repeated assembly and annotation of the Clostridium scatologenes genome, we propose a novel pathway for tryptophan degradation and 3-methylindole production by this organism. The genome of Clostridium scatologenes was sequenced, and re-assembled into contigs. Key elements of the tryptophan and shikimate pathways were identified. Contigs containing these elements were extracted from assemblies and matched to the reference genome of Clostridium carboxidivorans. Sequence for both pathways was then extended and defined using these joined sequence fragments. This sequence could serve as a starting point for the isolation of genes related to 3-methylindole synthesis using biochemical and enzyme analysis


Bioinformatics | Genetics and Genomics | Microbiology