Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2017

Access Restrictions

Access restricted until 07/13/2018

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Mishtu Dey


The biosynthesis of DMSP by phytoplankton and algae has wide ranging impact on marine organisms. Release of DMSP and uptake by marine bacteria leads to the eventual catabolism of this osmolyte. Enzymatic breakdown of DMSP leads to acrylate and volatile DMS production, which is fluxed into the atmosphere. When DMS enters the atmosphere it undergoes oxidation, acting as nucleation sites for water. The nucleation of water, and the subsequent cloud formation increases the albedo and reflects solar radiation. Global climate has therefore been hypothesized to be dependent upon DMSP breakdown to DMS. The enzymatic production of acrylate is also of interest for industrial applications.

Only six enzymes are known to act as a DMSP-lyase, causing the production of DMS. These enzymes are still being discovered, and until recently there was very limited analysis of the biochemical requirements for catalysis. The work presented here investigates these requirements and the structural properties that permit the elimination reaction yielding DMS.


DMSP lyase, metal dependent


xx, 126 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 117-126).


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Copyright © 2017 Adam Eugene Brummett

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