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Author ORCID Identifier


Campus-Only Access for Five (5) Years

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

M. Sloan Siegrist

Second Advisor

Yasu S. Morita

Third Advisor

Michele M. Klingbeil

Fourth Advisor

Hesper Rego

Subject Categories

Bacteriology | Microbial Physiology


Bacterial cells are protected by their cell envelope. Diversity in architecture and synthesis mechanisms of the envelope is matched by the diversity in environments inhabited by the bacterial domain. The Mycobacterium genus includes animal and human pathogens, nonpathogenic environmental species, and acts as a model organism for rod-shaped bacteria that grow by adding new material at their polar region. Mycobacteria exhibit many unusual features in both the structure of their envelope as well as how it is assembled. Extensive work in the cell wall field has described how peptidoglycan is organized and polymerized. However, existing models for these processes are unlikely to apply to members of the mycobacterial genus, as they lack key elements of established models. In this dissertation, we use Mycobacterium smegmatis as a model organism to study mycobacterial cell envelope synthesis, rod shape maintenance, and the relationship between the two. We focus on cytoskeletal protein, DivIVA, the architect of polar growth and rod shape, the role of lipid II transglycosylase RodA, response to cell wall damage, and finally, we use single molecule localization microscopy to understand the dynamics of mycobacterial cell envelope assembly.