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6 thoughts on “P84 – Weingardt”
I think the relationship between the bacteria’s physical attributes and whether the phage was lytic or temperate was a little bit confusing. Do the results indicate that physical attribute ties to the type of phage?
Thanks for the question! We didn’t specifically investigate the physical attributes of the bacteria (the host), but instead looked at the phage, as seen in figure 4 on the poster. Our phage exhibits siphoviridae morphology, meaning that it displays long, noncontractile tails. While the tail length itself is not predictive of whether a phage is lytic (produces clear plaques) or temperate (produces turbid/cloudy/halo plaques), there have been studies outside of our research suggesting that longer tails could mean that the phage takes longer to invade the bacterial host due to drag as it moves through the top agar on the L-agar plate. This would result in smaller plaques since it cannot lyse the bacteria that quickly. We would definitely need to investigate further to see how other physical structures of the phage tie in!
Hi Emily, excellent presentation! Could you tell me a little about what Synteny is?
Synteny refers to the order of the genes as they appear in the genome (specifically the phage genome in this investigation). In bioinformatics programs, synteny can be compared across different genomes to determine where gene order is the same, different, or where gene order is preserved on a species or cluster/subcluster level. This information can be used in classifying phages and determining their relational closeness to other phages.
For future experiments, would you ever want to test your phage for a host range to see if it infects any other species of bacteria? What other species do you think it would infect?
I would definitely consider that to be a valid future experiment, as testing host range could help utilize the phage in phage cocktails or in the treatment of diseases. Because of the high amount of homologous genes between M. smeg and M. tuberculosis, our phage would most likely be affective at lysing M. tuberculosis. Since we haven’t determined the cluster and subcluster yet though, it would be more difficult at this point to predict what other species of bacteria the phage would effectively infect.