Title of Abstract

Characterizing the Function of Bacteriophage Cain Genes in Host Mycobacterium smegmatis

Poster Number

60

Faculty Mentor

Kathryn Kohl, Ph.D.; Victoria Frost, Ph.D.; Kristi Westover; kohlk@winthrop.edu; frostv@winthrop.edu; westoverk@winthrop.edu

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Biology

Faculty Mentor

Kathryn Kohl, Ph.D.; Kristi Westover, Ph.D.; Victoria Frost, Ph.D.

Abstract

Knowledge of bacteriophages and their use has been around since the beginning of the 20th century, but until a more pronounced understanding of individual genotypic functions are known, their use is limited. This set of research has been performed in cooperation with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Science Education Alliance (SEA) GENES program. The goal of SEA-GENES is to generate expression libraries for phage genes, test the effects of these genes on bacterial host phenotypes, and investigate possible targets in the host proteome of these genes. Our phage of interest, Cain, is a cluster K6 temperate bacteriophage with 102 genes of which only 30 have a hypothesized function. Using molecular cloning with Escherichia coli and phenotypic assays, we are seeking to determine each individual gene's function. Thus far, each student has been responsible for engineering a plasmid to express their gene in host Mycobacterium smegmatis followed by conducting cytotoxic and defense assays to determine if their phage gene modifies the host phenotype. The results of this research will add to the growing knowledge of host-pathogen interaction with potential applications in the therapeutic and biotechnological fields.

Additional Fields About Your Abstract

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Course Assignment

BIOL 526 - Kohl, Frost & BIOL 527X - Frost, Kohl

Other Presentations/Performances

SEA Symposium, virtual, April 2021

Grant Support

South Carolina INBRE Program, HHMI and SEA-GENES

Type of Presentation

Poster presentation

Start Date

16-4-2021 3:00 PM

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Apr 16th, 3:00 PM

Characterizing the Function of Bacteriophage Cain Genes in Host Mycobacterium smegmatis

Knowledge of bacteriophages and their use has been around since the beginning of the 20th century, but until a more pronounced understanding of individual genotypic functions are known, their use is limited. This set of research has been performed in cooperation with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Science Education Alliance (SEA) GENES program. The goal of SEA-GENES is to generate expression libraries for phage genes, test the effects of these genes on bacterial host phenotypes, and investigate possible targets in the host proteome of these genes. Our phage of interest, Cain, is a cluster K6 temperate bacteriophage with 102 genes of which only 30 have a hypothesized function. Using molecular cloning with Escherichia coli and phenotypic assays, we are seeking to determine each individual gene's function. Thus far, each student has been responsible for engineering a plasmid to express their gene in host Mycobacterium smegmatis followed by conducting cytotoxic and defense assays to determine if their phage gene modifies the host phenotype. The results of this research will add to the growing knowledge of host-pathogen interaction with potential applications in the therapeutic and biotechnological fields.