Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2014

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School



Chemical Engineering

Program or Major

Chemical Engineering

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

First Advisor

Kang Wu


Bacillus and Geobacillus are the primary bacterium used in biotechnology industries due to their ability to excrete extracellular materials such as proteins, enzymes and other byproducts. Bacillus subtilis, has a well-characterized competence machinery, giving way to characterized genetic tools. However, a significant problem associated with working with Bacillus is the regulation of endospore formation. An alternative to Bacillus is Geobacillus, a thermophilic bacterium. Thermophiles offer significant advantages over other bacteria as host organisms in biofuel, bioremediation, and biocatalyst processes. However, the genetic tools and competency associated with Geobacillus is still unknown. Through, genetic engineering the ability of ComK to induce competency in Geobacillus is being studied. By inducing competency in this species biotechnology industries can be revolutionized.