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Education and Outreach Programs

Neuqua Valley High School ESRP 2013 - Team 2

The Effect of pH on Lysozyme Crystallization


  • Students:
    • Akhil Chavan
    • Snayha Garg
    • Katherine Guo
    • Albert Leung
  • Teachers:
    • Michael Kennedy
    • Patricia Noblett
  • Mentors:
    • David Smith (Argonne National Laboratory, LS-CAT)

Advanced Photon Source Sector 21: LS-CAT

This project involves extracting lysozyme from chicken eggs and crystallizing it. This experiment will confirm existing results of others’ previous lysozyme experiments. It is hypothesized that varying the pH of the lysozyme enzyme will result in more impurities in lysozyme crystals outside of the pH range of 6-9. The ideal range of the lysozyme enzyme is in this range, so when the pH is not within these bounds the lysozyme will denature and affect the crystal growth. The research will help determine the structure of a lysozyme protein with x-ray crystallography and provide results for the hypothesis while simultaneously imparting educational value in the science of x-ray crystallography. Additionally, the lessons from the results can be applied to other fields of science such as health, as lysozyme is an important enzyme in the immune system, and agriculture, since the lysozyme used comes from chicken eggs and serves an antibacterial purpose. The experiment will confirm conclusions on how lysozyme crystallizes in different pH levels and offer experience with x-ray crystallography while opening doors to exploration in other areas in science.

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