8 thoughts on “P139 – Mukkamala

  1. You mentioned that this phage could have applications to agriculture. How exactly can the phage be used to help with agriculture?

    1. Hi Kimmie, thank you for your question!
      Antibiotic use is on the rise in agriculture for many things such as pest control, and control of bacterial diseases in general. Due to the random mutations occurring in bacteria, it is possible that these bacteria receive antibiotic resistant mutations which would render the antibiotics useless and bring upon more bacterial populations within agriculture, which could harm the food that we eat. However, if we utilize bacteriophage, we would be able to effectively target these antibiotic resistant bacteria, and with bacteriophage having a narrow host range, we would be able to target just that bacteria and not harm the crop itself. It is showing with prior research to be an effective solution to these bacterial populations and I am excited to see where the research takes bacteriophage in the future.

  2. Did you expect the length of the tail and width of the head to be these sizes?

    1. Hi Katie,
      There are three different morphologies for a bacteriophage and they are:
      Siphoviridae, which is what PlaqueAttack follows, and these generally have a long tail with a smaller head.
      Myoviridae, which is in the middle, with a medium-length tail in comparison to its head.
      Podoviridae, which has a very small tail.

      When comparing my data to the rest of the class, it seems to be a common consensus that siphoviridae and myoviridae are the most common morphologies to be isolated, with siphoviridae being the most common. I suppose with this statistic, we were unsurprised that PlaqueAttack followed siphoviridae morphology.

      Let me know if you have any more questions.

    1. Hi Andrew,

      Thanks for your question. M. Smegmatis was utilized as it is very easy to culture. Additionally, M. Smeg is considered a non-pathogenic microorganism, which means it would pose little risk to humans during experimentation. I seek to test PlaqueAttack against more bacterial strains to determine its host range, but M. Smegmatis was extremely useful as it was easy to culture and test against without much worry of harm.

      Thanks so much,

  3. Hey Ankit, great presentation. When are environmental conditions suboptimal for phages? What does that consist of?

    1. Hey Ben, Great Question.
      The decision between lysogeny and lysis is often determined by several factors. However, the main ones that are noted within present research are: availability of host resources, presence of competing phages, and the stress level of the host cell.
      Essentially, the best way to think about it is that a bacteriophage will undergo lysis when the bacterium is under bad conditions and will be the most susceptible. Undergoing lysis is when the bacteriophage utilizes bacterial host machinery to replicate itself until the cell is overloaded with phage particles and dies off. You do not generally utilize lysogenic phages in phage therapy as it is much slower, and you cannot guarantee suboptimal environmental conditions.

      Thanks for the question,

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