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Adam Brown

Posted on March 5, 2015


Date - March 5, 2015
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


Ph.D. Thesis Defense – 752
Title: “Studies on Bacterial Efflux Pump Inhibitors in Land Plants”
Advisor – Dr. Cech


Multiple plants have been identified that inhibit bacterial toxic compound efflux pumps, thus synergizing the activity of antimicrobial compounds. This study sought to develop improved methods for the study of this phenomena, and to investigate the prevalence of efflux pump inhibitors in land plant lineages. Two improved assays were developed using both fluorimetry and mass spectrometry. These were employed to evaluate efflux pump inhibitory activity for a set of plant extracts and pure flavonoids. The fluorimetrybased assay was effective and rapid for some samples, but was confounded by quenching effects inherent in many of the samples tested. The mass spectrometry based assay circumvented these quenching issues, and was successful in quantifying the efflux pump inhibitory activity of a wide array of plant extracts and pure compounds. The data produced using the mass spectrometry-based assay when applied to plant extracts and to pure flavonoid standards was useful in demonstrating that the production of efflux pump inhibitors is more widely distributed in land plants than the previous literature suggests.