Event Title

From Prevailing to Peculiar, Phage Evolution and Diversity at its Finest

Faculty Advisor

Richard Alvey

Graduation Year

2021

Location

Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

Start Date

21-4-2018 2:00 PM

End Date

21-4-2018 3:00 PM

Description

In the field of microbiology, bacteriophages, viruses that infect bacteria, are becoming an extensive subject of study. The purpose of this research was to isolate and discover unknown phages from the environment to compare them to known phages in order to understand their evolution and diversity. After isolating these phages from soil and water samples, we then examined and analyzed them in the laboratory. One Mycobacterium smegmatis (Ms) phage from a soil sample and two Rhodobacter capsulatus (Rc) phages from water samples were discovered. A variety of tests were conducted to study these phages such as examining morphology, host range testing, lysogen testing, PCR tests, and ultimately DNA sequencing. Our bioinformatic analysis and experimental data revealed that Doddsville (an Ms phage) is a relatively common B1 phage with a large head and long tail. The data also showed that SchuylerLagoon and Bellator (Rc phages) both had a smaller head and no tail, which is unique to the phages known. They are thought to be a type of singleton that have a single-stranded genome. With our analysis of Doddsville, Bellator, and SchuylerLagoon, we have contributed to the research in understanding phage diversity and viruses as a whole in the scientific community.

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Apr 21st, 2:00 PM Apr 21st, 3:00 PM

From Prevailing to Peculiar, Phage Evolution and Diversity at its Finest

Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

In the field of microbiology, bacteriophages, viruses that infect bacteria, are becoming an extensive subject of study. The purpose of this research was to isolate and discover unknown phages from the environment to compare them to known phages in order to understand their evolution and diversity. After isolating these phages from soil and water samples, we then examined and analyzed them in the laboratory. One Mycobacterium smegmatis (Ms) phage from a soil sample and two Rhodobacter capsulatus (Rc) phages from water samples were discovered. A variety of tests were conducted to study these phages such as examining morphology, host range testing, lysogen testing, PCR tests, and ultimately DNA sequencing. Our bioinformatic analysis and experimental data revealed that Doddsville (an Ms phage) is a relatively common B1 phage with a large head and long tail. The data also showed that SchuylerLagoon and Bellator (Rc phages) both had a smaller head and no tail, which is unique to the phages known. They are thought to be a type of singleton that have a single-stranded genome. With our analysis of Doddsville, Bellator, and SchuylerLagoon, we have contributed to the research in understanding phage diversity and viruses as a whole in the scientific community.