Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Daniele Provenzano

Second Advisor

Dr. Boris Ermolinsky

Third Advisor

Dr. Julie Mustard


Cholera is a diarrheal disease responsible for considerable morbidity and mortality globally. Epidemics along the Rio Grande Delta were reported during the 1850s, and the etiological agent Vibrio cholerae, remains endemic, thus presenting a unique opportunity for a study of historical and biological relevance. V. cholerae strains were isolated from two locations: the Rio Grande River under a bridge linking Brownsville to Matamoros (site 21) and where the river empties into the Gulf of Mexico (site 42). Two strains from site 21, and one from site 42 were selected to isolate, subclone, sequence, assemble and annotate extra-chromosomal elements. Results demonstrate these are plasmids encoding replication and/or mobilization elements and cell regulatory mechanisms, MqsR/MqsA and RelE/RelB family Type II TA systems. Considering the remarkable genetic diversity which characterizes V. cholerae, this study aims to contribute towards monitoring efforts of environmental isolate adaptations and their potential contributions to horizontal-gene transfer and outbreaks.


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