Date of Award

Fall 1-7-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

John E. Houghton

Second Advisor

Julia K. Hilliard

Third Advisor

William Walthall


Saccharomyces cerevisiae exhibits an apoptotic response upon exposure to toxic metals such as cadmium (Cd) and copper (Cu). Preliminary findings indicate that this response is dependent –to some extent- on the presence of a fermentable carbon source, glucose. To investigate this dependency we monitored the apoptotic response to both metals in the presence and absence of glucose and have shown that glucose is absolutely necessary in order to induce apoptosis in yeast at least during the exposure to metal. We have also looked at the biochemical changes that are taking place in yeast when treated with Cd using Fourier Transform Infra-Red (FTIR) Spectroscopy. Our results suggest that there are definitive changes in cellular activities that are discernable at 1660-1640cm-1 (amide I), 1540-1510cm-1 (amide II) and 1140-1080cm-1(DNA absorption bands).


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