Title of Abstract

Isolating, Purifying, and Characterizing Mycobacterium Bacteriophages Collected from Soil on the Winthrop University Campus

Poster Number

01

Faculty Mentor

Two WU mentors: Victoria J. Frost, Ph.D.; Kristi M. Westover, Ph.D.; frostv@winthrop.edu; westoverk@winthrop.edu

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Biology

Faculty Mentor

Victoria J. Frost, Ph.D.; Kristi M. Westover, Ph.D.

Abstract

This was Winthrop University’s sixth year as part of the national HHMI sponsored SEA-PHAGES program. As freshman undergraduate students we isolated, purified, and characterized 4 bacteriophages found in the soil in and around Winthrop University, Rock Hill, South Carolina. COVID-19 limited the number of students in the laboratory at any given time, but working in pairs and eventually teams, we were able to isolate and culture four soil bacteriophages. Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacterial host cells. They require a bacterial cell to reproduce and are specific to a particular host cell. Each phage was purified and amplified in the bacterial host Mycobacterium smegmatis mc2155. Following isolation, the phages were characterized following DNA extraction using restriction enzyme digests and gel electrophoresis. Calendula, Grindelwald, Allegro, and Moostard high-titer lysates were archived for future study. Two phages, Allegro and Moostard, were chosen to be sequenced at the University of Pittsburgh. The genome sequences will be returned to Winthrop for annotation. This research not only adds to the increasing knowledge of novel phages being discovered in this area of South Carolina but also allows Winthrop University and its students as members of an internationally renowned research program.

Additional Fields About Your Abstract

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Course Assignment

BIO 270 - Frost and Westover

Other Presentations/Performances

SEA Symposium, April 2021

Grant Support

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

Start Date

16-4-2021 11:30 AM

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Apr 16th, 11:30 AM

Isolating, Purifying, and Characterizing Mycobacterium Bacteriophages Collected from Soil on the Winthrop University Campus

This was Winthrop University’s sixth year as part of the national HHMI sponsored SEA-PHAGES program. As freshman undergraduate students we isolated, purified, and characterized 4 bacteriophages found in the soil in and around Winthrop University, Rock Hill, South Carolina. COVID-19 limited the number of students in the laboratory at any given time, but working in pairs and eventually teams, we were able to isolate and culture four soil bacteriophages. Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacterial host cells. They require a bacterial cell to reproduce and are specific to a particular host cell. Each phage was purified and amplified in the bacterial host Mycobacterium smegmatis mc2155. Following isolation, the phages were characterized following DNA extraction using restriction enzyme digests and gel electrophoresis. Calendula, Grindelwald, Allegro, and Moostard high-titer lysates were archived for future study. Two phages, Allegro and Moostard, were chosen to be sequenced at the University of Pittsburgh. The genome sequences will be returned to Winthrop for annotation. This research not only adds to the increasing knowledge of novel phages being discovered in this area of South Carolina but also allows Winthrop University and its students as members of an internationally renowned research program.