Event Title

The Discovery of Joli Good Fellow

Faculty Advisor

Richard Alvey

Graduation Year

2022

Location

Center for Natural Sciences

Start Date

4-4-2020 9:00 AM

End Date

4-4-2020 10:00 AM

Description

Although bacteriophages, viruses that infect bacteria, are the most abundant biological entities in the biosphere, we have only scratched the surface in our understanding of them. Using the water sample from Sangamon River in Springfield, Illinois, a newly discovered phage, Joli, was isolated, purified, and characterized using a pink photosynthetic bacterium, Rhodobacter capsulatus. TEM analysis showed that Joli is a siphoviridae phage with a long flexible tail. PCR results suggested it is likely a member of the most common group of R. capsulatus phages, called RcD. Furthermore, genomic analyses showed that Joli’s genome was 92% identical to a known RcD phage, McDreamy. Joli has 103 genes, and 17 of these genes have known functions. An evaluation of Joli’s genes showed some of the functions include capsid and tail formation, proteins to lyse its host bacteria, and proteins that interact with DNA. Even though there is much uncertainty in how phages function, this project allowed us to better understand the mechanisms in which they interact with their hosts and environment. Our future work will focus on further understanding how phages adapt and take on new functions.

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Apr 4th, 9:00 AM Apr 4th, 10:00 AM

The Discovery of Joli Good Fellow

Center for Natural Sciences

Although bacteriophages, viruses that infect bacteria, are the most abundant biological entities in the biosphere, we have only scratched the surface in our understanding of them. Using the water sample from Sangamon River in Springfield, Illinois, a newly discovered phage, Joli, was isolated, purified, and characterized using a pink photosynthetic bacterium, Rhodobacter capsulatus. TEM analysis showed that Joli is a siphoviridae phage with a long flexible tail. PCR results suggested it is likely a member of the most common group of R. capsulatus phages, called RcD. Furthermore, genomic analyses showed that Joli’s genome was 92% identical to a known RcD phage, McDreamy. Joli has 103 genes, and 17 of these genes have known functions. An evaluation of Joli’s genes showed some of the functions include capsid and tail formation, proteins to lyse its host bacteria, and proteins that interact with DNA. Even though there is much uncertainty in how phages function, this project allowed us to better understand the mechanisms in which they interact with their hosts and environment. Our future work will focus on further understanding how phages adapt and take on new functions.