This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Mechanisms of Cytoplasmic Incompatibility Operon Horizontal Gene Transfer




Oswalt, Kyle

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Entomology and Plant Pathology

Restriction Status


Restriction Type

Auburn University Users

Date Available



Transposable elements are responsible for vast genetic changes within the global ecosystem. It is observed that transposons can change the genetic makeup of an organism through the modification of the genome; such as the addition of genetic material, modification of existing material, and/or homologous recombination. This research (Chapter 2) focuses on understanding the mechanisms of transposons found in Orientia tsutsugamushi that flank Cytoplasmic Incompatibility (CI) operons derived from Wolbachia. We hypothesize that the transposon IS5 found upstream of the CI operon in O. tsutsugamushi is responsible for the horizontal gene transfer (HGT) of the CI operon into O. tsutsugamushi from Wolbachia. To test this, we constructed multiple plasmid constructs that contained extracted transposons and tested their cargo-carrying ability. We discovered that the transposon known as IS5 possessed the ability to move genetic material through the placement of Inverted Repeats (IRs) terminal to the sequence of interest, suggesting that the IS5 transposon found upstream of the CI operon can transfer the operon.