Event Title

Cracking the Peripeteia Code: Discovering and Characterizing a Newfound Virus

Faculty Advisor

Richard Alvey

Graduation Year

2023

Location

Center for Natural Sciences

Start Date

4-4-2020 2:00 PM

End Date

4-4-2020 3:00 PM

Description

Although bacteriophages—viruses that infect bacteria—are the most abundant biological entities on Earth, little is known about the impact they have on life, how they evolve, and the benefits they offer. Researching bacteriophages could provide new insights to the scientific community: it could help understand the role of bacteria in causing disease, the potential of using phages to treat diseases, and broaden the study of molecular biology. In the search of a virus to study, Peripeteia, a rare bacteriophage, was recently discovered from a water sample taken from a lake in White Oak Park in Bloomington, IL. The phage was grown using Rhodobacter capsulatus as its host bacteria. R. capsulatus bacteriophages, although common, are one of the least studied groups of bacteriophages. After having its genome sequenced, Peripeteia was found to be a member of the RcD cluster, a group of 10 other nearly genetically identical bacteriophages. Peripeteia is most related to Maeve, who are 99.61% identical. After annotating its genome we found that most of the identified genes have unknown functions. Studying Peripeteia and its genome allows for further insight into the evolution and gene function of bacteriophages.

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Apr 4th, 2:00 PM Apr 4th, 3:00 PM

Cracking the Peripeteia Code: Discovering and Characterizing a Newfound Virus

Center for Natural Sciences

Although bacteriophages—viruses that infect bacteria—are the most abundant biological entities on Earth, little is known about the impact they have on life, how they evolve, and the benefits they offer. Researching bacteriophages could provide new insights to the scientific community: it could help understand the role of bacteria in causing disease, the potential of using phages to treat diseases, and broaden the study of molecular biology. In the search of a virus to study, Peripeteia, a rare bacteriophage, was recently discovered from a water sample taken from a lake in White Oak Park in Bloomington, IL. The phage was grown using Rhodobacter capsulatus as its host bacteria. R. capsulatus bacteriophages, although common, are one of the least studied groups of bacteriophages. After having its genome sequenced, Peripeteia was found to be a member of the RcD cluster, a group of 10 other nearly genetically identical bacteriophages. Peripeteia is most related to Maeve, who are 99.61% identical. After annotating its genome we found that most of the identified genes have unknown functions. Studying Peripeteia and its genome allows for further insight into the evolution and gene function of bacteriophages.