Event Title

Isolation, Purification, and Amplification of Novel, Locally Discovered Bacteriophages in Rock Hill, South Carolina

Poster Number

048

Faculty Mentor

Victoria Frost, Ph.D., and Kristi Westover, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of Biology

Location

Richardson Ballroom (DIGS)

Start Date

20-4-2018 2:15 PM

End Date

20-4-2018 4:15 PM

Description

This is Winthrop University’s second year as part of the SEA-PHAGES program (Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science) sponsored by the HHMI Science Education Alliance. This program was developed to expand knowledge of locally collected bacteriophages across the world, and at the same time, to expose freshman undergraduate students to inquiry-based, genuine research early on in their careers. In the fall of 2017, 10 students used microbiological techniques to each isolate a unique bacteriophage that infected the bacterial host Mycobacterium smegmatis mc2 155. Individual phages were purified to obtain identical plaque morphologies and then amplified to collect High Viral Titers (HVT). Using Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), the phages were shown to all belong to the Siphoviridae group of mycobacteriophages, and presented with a variety of capsid sizes and tail lengths. Molecular techniques, including comparing restriction enzyme digest patterns of the viral DNA, enabled the student group to decide on which phages should be further analyzed at the genomic level and sent to the SEA-PHAGES team to be sequenced. This research not only adds to the increasing characterization and knowledge of novel phages being discovered in this area of South Carolina, but also continues to include Winthrop University and its students as members of a nationally renowned research program.

Previously Presented/Performed?

Fourth Annual Showcase of Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors (SOURCE), Winthrop University, April 2018

Grant Support?

Supported by a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute for the SEA-PHAGES Program

Course Assignment

BIOL 203R, 207X – Frost, Westover

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Apr 20th, 2:15 PM Apr 20th, 4:15 PM

Isolation, Purification, and Amplification of Novel, Locally Discovered Bacteriophages in Rock Hill, South Carolina

Richardson Ballroom (DIGS)

This is Winthrop University’s second year as part of the SEA-PHAGES program (Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science) sponsored by the HHMI Science Education Alliance. This program was developed to expand knowledge of locally collected bacteriophages across the world, and at the same time, to expose freshman undergraduate students to inquiry-based, genuine research early on in their careers. In the fall of 2017, 10 students used microbiological techniques to each isolate a unique bacteriophage that infected the bacterial host Mycobacterium smegmatis mc2 155. Individual phages were purified to obtain identical plaque morphologies and then amplified to collect High Viral Titers (HVT). Using Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), the phages were shown to all belong to the Siphoviridae group of mycobacteriophages, and presented with a variety of capsid sizes and tail lengths. Molecular techniques, including comparing restriction enzyme digest patterns of the viral DNA, enabled the student group to decide on which phages should be further analyzed at the genomic level and sent to the SEA-PHAGES team to be sequenced. This research not only adds to the increasing characterization and knowledge of novel phages being discovered in this area of South Carolina, but also continues to include Winthrop University and its students as members of a nationally renowned research program.