Event Title

Characterization of Microbacterium foliorum Bacteriophages isolated from the North Catawba River Region

Poster Number

002

Faculty Mentor

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

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of Biology

Location

Rutledge Building

Start Date

12-4-2019 12:00 PM

End Date

April 2019

Description

This is the third year that Winthrop University has offered a two-semester undergraduate research course as part of the SEA-PHAGES (Science Education Alliance – Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science) program sponsored by the HHMI Science Education Alliance. There are thought to be approximately 1031 phage particles in existence. A mere 3000 phages have so far been isolated and characterized as part of this discovery program. During the Fall 2018 semester, students focused on isolating and identifying unique bacteriophages using Microbacterium foliorum as the bacterial host. The bacterium is present in the phyllosphere of vegetation and thrives in humid environments, growing best at 30 °C. All samples were isolated from the North Catawba River Region. Phage DNA was isolated and cut using restriction enzymes in tandem with a Phage Enzyme Tool (PET). DNA gel electrophoresis was used to display the DNA fingerprints of the individual phages; their patterns were then uploaded onto the PET program to predict the cluster of a phage. Once the individual phages were isolated, they were imaged using transmission electron microscopy to determine morphology and approximate size. Two phages with high titer lysates and unique restriction digest patterns, Rhysand and MonChoix, were sent to the University of Pittsburgh for DNA sequencing. The complete genomes were incorporated into the second part of the SEA-PHAGES research project: bioinformatics.

Previously Presented/Performed?

Southeastern Undergraduate Science Symposium, Charlotte, North Carolina, March 2019

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Apr 12th, 12:00 PM Apr 13th, 2:00 PM

Characterization of Microbacterium foliorum Bacteriophages isolated from the North Catawba River Region

Rutledge Building

This is the third year that Winthrop University has offered a two-semester undergraduate research course as part of the SEA-PHAGES (Science Education Alliance – Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science) program sponsored by the HHMI Science Education Alliance. There are thought to be approximately 1031 phage particles in existence. A mere 3000 phages have so far been isolated and characterized as part of this discovery program. During the Fall 2018 semester, students focused on isolating and identifying unique bacteriophages using Microbacterium foliorum as the bacterial host. The bacterium is present in the phyllosphere of vegetation and thrives in humid environments, growing best at 30 °C. All samples were isolated from the North Catawba River Region. Phage DNA was isolated and cut using restriction enzymes in tandem with a Phage Enzyme Tool (PET). DNA gel electrophoresis was used to display the DNA fingerprints of the individual phages; their patterns were then uploaded onto the PET program to predict the cluster of a phage. Once the individual phages were isolated, they were imaged using transmission electron microscopy to determine morphology and approximate size. Two phages with high titer lysates and unique restriction digest patterns, Rhysand and MonChoix, were sent to the University of Pittsburgh for DNA sequencing. The complete genomes were incorporated into the second part of the SEA-PHAGES research project: bioinformatics.