Investigating Variation in Bacteriophage Plaque Morphology
My research project stems from an early observation in our lab where a lytic phage called SHL created plaques (zones of bacterial clearance) with highly variable sizes. This is interesting because it is expected that a homogenous population would produce plaques of relatively similar sizes because they all have the same genetic makeup. Based on past experiments I have conducted and papers in the field, I hypothesized that the variation in plaque size could be the result of subpopulations within the SHL stock that have varying adsorption rates. Over the summer I hope to conduct a comprehensive literature review of bacteriophage phenotypic variation as well as analyze SHLs and other bacteriophages genomic sequences. The information I uncover will shed light on any genetic factors that might prompt phenotypic variation in bacteriophages and therefore the creation of subpopulations within a homogeneous stock. A thorough investigation of the mechanism behind bacteriophage phenotypic variation could prove valuable for individuals who are attempting to understand the adaptations of phages in nature.
Message to Sponsor
- Major: Molecular and Cell Biology
- Sponsor: Rose Hills Independent
- Mentor: Britt Koskella