Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Mathematics and Statistics

First Advisor

William P. Baker, PhD.


This research models and analyzes the inactivation of Bacillus spores following a radiation exposure and the process enacted by the Bacillus spore to repair the resulting damage. Irradiation of a spore and the medium surrounding the spore induces chemical reactions that produce reactive oxygen species (ROS). This research will consider the reaction- diffusion of these ROS throughout the spore. These ROS can react with the spore's DNA and enzymes to degrade them to such an extent that the DNA cannot be repaired or replicated, thus causing spore death. In order to survive a dose of radiation, a spore must repair its damaged DNA during germination. The DNA repair process is dependent on reactions catalyzed by enzymes that remain viable after the radiation treatment. Increased damage to the enzymes during radiation exposure effects the rate at which the spore's DNA is repaired. If the enzymes are damaged to such an extent that they cannot complete the DNA repair method, the spore will be unable to reproduce and achieve cellular outgrowth. A probability of survival model is created based on radiation damage due to the reaction of ROS with the spore's DNA and enzymes and the repair process.

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