Creation of Genetic Model of Mycobacteriophge Stagni

Huffman, Anthony, Joshua Thomson, and Jacob Kagey

Phage Stagni was discovered by Amber Elinksy during Fall 2015 and had its genome successfully isolated by her and I during the end of 2015 as part of the SEA-PHAGE program. The SEA-PHAGE program was developed as a unified attempt to develop a database of viruses which target Mycobacterium spp. (mycobacteteriophages or phages for the rest of this poster). This project was founded with the hope that this would yield phages which are capable of targeting M. tuberculosis or related species such as M. leprae. This would hopefully would have led to an simple, successful method of treating tuberculosis and other harmful pathogens. If that failed, then simply having the phage genome would still prove to be useful for further research in how phages function. This may be the result of discovering unknown proteins which may provide a useful model for either lysing of mycobacterial cell membranes and walls or ease. Phage Stagni has been auto-annotated using programs which assess the probability of a gene product (a DNA sequence which expresses an actual protein) and then these predictions were corroborate with the known gene products of previously sequenced phages. And if the data conflicted, a new model which was better supported by the data. Of the whole phage genome, this group was responsible for half the predicted genome of Stagni and correlated with three other groups in order to produce a complete gene model of Stagni. During this project, most of the gene products predicted by these programs were corroborated. While about half of all gene products correlate strongly with known proteins, including one frame-shift sequence which is likely a tail chaperone protein, gene function has yet to be confirmed for all of these. This will be the next section of inquiry planned, with the intent to discover their functions.