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10 thoughts on “P24 – Misra”
Hi Anjali, what is the importance of a noncontractile tail?
The long noncontractile tail helped us identify that Neem is a siphoviridae as that is a key characteristic! This helps the phage be more effective at infecting bacteria cells.
Is there a difference in the effectiveness of Lytic versus lysogenic phages? Is one more advantageous than the other?
Only lytic phages can be used in phage therapy as their life cycle ends with them killing the bacteria cell. Temperate phages only kill some of the bacteria (which is why they make cloudy plaques). When using phage therapy in a person you would want all of the bacteria to be killed so that the patient can survive so lytic phages are better candidates. Temperate phage can be genetically modified to become lytic phage so they can be used in that way!
Great presentation!! Under what criteria was the mycobacteriophage Neem chosen to be studied, and what are the advantages of having those certain characteristics compared to the other phages found in the sample?
We selected Neem because it was one of the plaques that was farthest away from an area of contamination that we had on our plate. We had so many types of phage densely packed on the original plate that we could not tell much about their individual characteristics. After isolating Neem we were able to understand its morphology and learned that its long tail and high rate of infection contributed to its virulent nature.
What are the next steps for Neem to become a phage therapy?
Neem would have to be able to infect a pathogenic bacteria (like M. tuberculosis for example) in an effective way. It would then have to be genetically modified so that it only enters the lytic cycle and not the lysogenic cycle. Neem would then likely be mixed into a phage cocktail with other lytic phage that target that bacteria. This would then be used as a phage therapy for a patient as an oral medication, topical treatment, or IV depending on the location of the bacterial infection in the patient.
What would the restrictions Digest and PCR accomplish?
A restriction digest would use well known enzymes to cut up the phage DNA in a gel. Through gel electrophoresis we would be able to see where the enzymes made cuts and compare that to other phage DNA that have known clusters. A PCR experiment would allow us to amplify a specific sequence of DNA and confirm our cluster hypothesis.