(Sept. 18, 2012)--In August, UTSA microbiologist Karl Klose traveled to Valparaíso, Chile, to teach students at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaiso (PUCV)’s Institute of Biology how to genetically manipulate and dissect bacterial pathogens. The training will enhance the students’ study of the pathogenesis and environmental persistence of related bacteria and will ultimately position them to help protect the Chilean salmon industry.
This year, Chile is expected to produce 700,000 tons of salmon. Despite the industry’s significant growth since the mid-1970s, disease outbreaks such as those caused by the bacterium Piscirickettsia salmonis continue to threaten the industry, resulting in significant economic losses. At PUCV, scholars are conducting research focusing on ways to prevent infectious agents from causing diseases in salmon. Like UTSA, PUCV students are highly involved in the research as part of their training.
Klose received a South American Visiting Professorship from the American Society for Microbiology that allowed him to teach a short course in bacterial genetics to 21 students from PUCV and surrounding universities in Temuco and Concepcion. The goal was to help students become proficient in basic techniques that can be applied to bacteria that affect salmon. While there, Klose used the bacterium Vibrio cholerae as a teaching model, an ideal choice because not only is it the cause of the human disease cholera, it is also a marine bacterium related to the bacteria many PUCV scholars are already studying.
Each day, Klose provided a 90-minute lecture followed by a six-hour laboratory session allowing the students to practice the techniques they learned. The syllabus addressed gene disruption, motility and flagellar genes, virulence factor expression and biofilm formation. At the end of the course, Klose taught the students how to adapt the techniques to other bacteria.
Klose believes the partnership will stimulate new types of research at PUCV. The techniques Klose taught the students will be continued in individual laboratories at PUCV. Klose and his Chilean host, Sergio Marshall Gonzalez, also expect to collaborate on microbiology research that would result in funding from the Chilean government and a series of peer-reviewed publications.
“The Chilean economy is extremely dependent on salmon exports, but the industry continues to be challenged by different types of infectious diseases,” said Klose. “By teaching students at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaiso the most updated ways to manipulate bacteria, they are equipped to study the infectious agents that affect salmon, and ultimately develop novel vaccines and therapeutics to help protect the salmon industry.”
Klose is a professor in the UTSA Department of Biology and the South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases. For more than 20 years, he has studied the pathogenesis and persistence of V. cholerae, which is found where there are widespread sanitation problems, particularly in water and food supplies. His research focuses on how the bacterium survives, how it causes disease and how it persists in aquatic environments. Ultimately, Klose and other cholera researchers around the world aim to develop a vaccine to the onset and spread of cholera.
The UTSA community welcomes students to their on-campus home! Laurel Village, Chaparral Village and Alvarez Hall are home for 2,300 students during the academic year, and Move-In event kicks off the start of Roadrunner Days.
Laurel Village, Chaparral Village, Alvarez Hall, Main Campus
The College of Engineering hosts this seminar featuring Jeff Adams, Southwest Zone Quality Manager, Siemens Building Technologies Division. The event is free and open to the public.
Engineering Building (EB 3.04.30), Main Campus
This is a terrific opportunity for incoming transfer students to network with staff that serve our veteran, non-traditional, and transferring students, as well as meet transfer peer mentors who can help answer questions about UTSA.
Main Building ground floor lobby, Main Campus
After a day full of moving and getting settled into their new UTSA home, students and their families can have some refreshments and snacks at the Welcome Back Reception. The event tops off with the premiere performance of the Spirit of San Antonio, UTSA's Marching Band.
University Center Paseo, Main Campus
Can you survive the library wilderness? As a part of Roadrunner Days, UTSA Libraries is hosting a mobile adventure for you to play and find out more about the library!
John Peace Library, 2nd floor, Main Campus
Come meet your UTSA Volleyball Team as they gear up for the 2017 season! The game begins at 5 p.m. then the team will hold an autograph and photo session after the game.
Convocation Center, Main Campus
This engaging discussion pulls back the covers on hooking up, clarifying when it’s actually sexual violence and how bystanders can protect potential victims from predators.
University Center, Retama Auditorium (UC 2.02.02), Main Campus
Late Night at the Rec is an awesome UTSA tradition that transforms a standard information session into an exciting night of fun. At this annual event, you’ll be able to learn about our facilities, recreation programs, and wellness services offered at Main and Downtown Campuses.
Recreation and Wellness Center, Main Campus
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