Gene Annotation of Mycobacteriophage Kady using In Silico Gene Identification Methods

Gorkiewicz, Emily, Christina Jones, Joshua Thomson, and Jacob Kagey

Effective treatment of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a deadly pathogen affecting millions of people worldwide, has proven to be difficult due to the increasing prevalence of multiple antibiotic-resistant strains. In an effort to solve this global health concern, researchers are beginning to turn to an alternative approach known as phage therapy, which uses host-specific bacterial viruses (bacteriophages) to kill the intended pathogenic bacteria without compromising the health of the infected human. Kady is a novel mycobacteriophage collected from a soil sample in southeastern Michigan and isolated using Mycobacterium smegmatis as the host. The isolated phage was submitted for genome sequencing and found to be composed of 50,898 bps. Kady was then auto-annotated using the program DNA Master. In this study, we evaluate the accuracy of DNA Master by comparing the predicted genes found to data collected from various bioinformatics tools, namely GeneMark, Glimmer, and Starterator. Each predicted gene was also compared to previously sequenced bacteriophages to determine similarity using BLASTp data and PhagesDB.org. The primary goal of this analysis is to provide further knowledge of the ubiquitous nature of mycobacteriophages in an effort to develop therapeutic uses for treating human diseases such as M. tuberculosis.