Title of Presentation or Performance

Exploring Phages Affecting Rhodobacter capsulatus: RcSwan and RcKeef

Major

Biology

Type of Submission

Poster

Type of Submission (Archival)

Event

Area of Study or Work

Biology

Expected Graduation Date

2025

Location

CNS Atrium, Easel 15

Start Date

4-9-2022 8:30 AM

End Date

4-9-2022 9:45 AM

Abstract

Bacteriophages, viruses that feed on bacteria, are recognized as the most common biological entities on the planet, with numbers believed to be as high as 1031 particles. They play a significant role in the ecological balance of microbial life. There are almost 150 clusters of known phages, with multiple sub-clusters and even singletons, each categorized based on the bacteria they infect and their genomic similarities. Through our research, we hoped to understand how two phages that infect the same bacteria, obtained under similar conditions, such as temperature, food source, and incubation time, showed various structural and functional differences. We isolated two phages infecting the freshwater bacteria Rhodobacter capsulatus, one was found to be a member of the RcC cluster, RcSwan, and the other was found to be a member of the RcD cluster, RcKeef. We noticed stark differences between the two phages in the Transmission Electron Microscopy results of both phages as RcKeef had a tail length of 221.0 nm and a capsid diameter of 74.5 nm, while RcSwan had a much smaller tail length of 120.9 nm and a slightly smaller capsid diameter of 65.1 nm. Additional differences were seen in the sequenced genome of both phages, as RcKeef had 68,260 base pairs and 102 genes, while RcSwan had only 41,417 base pairs and 70 genes. These differences in the genomes between the two phages directly influence the bacterial infection rate. Overall, the morphological and genetic differences between the two phages display some of the diversity exhibited in bacteriophages and provide some insight into the unseen pathogens found throughout our local community.

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Apr 9th, 8:30 AM Apr 9th, 9:45 AM

Exploring Phages Affecting Rhodobacter capsulatus: RcSwan and RcKeef

CNS Atrium, Easel 15

Bacteriophages, viruses that feed on bacteria, are recognized as the most common biological entities on the planet, with numbers believed to be as high as 1031 particles. They play a significant role in the ecological balance of microbial life. There are almost 150 clusters of known phages, with multiple sub-clusters and even singletons, each categorized based on the bacteria they infect and their genomic similarities. Through our research, we hoped to understand how two phages that infect the same bacteria, obtained under similar conditions, such as temperature, food source, and incubation time, showed various structural and functional differences. We isolated two phages infecting the freshwater bacteria Rhodobacter capsulatus, one was found to be a member of the RcC cluster, RcSwan, and the other was found to be a member of the RcD cluster, RcKeef. We noticed stark differences between the two phages in the Transmission Electron Microscopy results of both phages as RcKeef had a tail length of 221.0 nm and a capsid diameter of 74.5 nm, while RcSwan had a much smaller tail length of 120.9 nm and a slightly smaller capsid diameter of 65.1 nm. Additional differences were seen in the sequenced genome of both phages, as RcKeef had 68,260 base pairs and 102 genes, while RcSwan had only 41,417 base pairs and 70 genes. These differences in the genomes between the two phages directly influence the bacterial infection rate. Overall, the morphological and genetic differences between the two phages display some of the diversity exhibited in bacteriophages and provide some insight into the unseen pathogens found throughout our local community.