Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2017

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School



Chemical Engineering

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

First Advisor

Kang Wu


Lead is a toxic pollutant very harmful to human health since it accumulates in the body and affects the brain, liver, kidney, and bones. Fetuses can be exposed to lead during pregnancy, which can cause problems with learning later on in the baby’s life. The purpose of this project is to display a lead binding protein on bacterial spore surface for the bioremediation of lead from water. Spores from Bacillus subtilis are very robust and resistant to various harsh environments. Genetically fused to a spore surface protein, the displayed proteins demonstrate enhanced robustness and can be easily produced through sporulation without the need of further purification. PbrR is a regulatory protein that modulates the lead resistance in bacteria. In this project, we fused seven variants of PbrR to the spore surface protein CotC (CotC-PbrRs). The lead binding affinity and specificity of these PbrR variants on the spore surface will be characterized. The robustness of these spores with PbrR will be also evaluated using wastewater samples.

Included in

Engineering Commons