Indication of Frameshift Presence and Conservation of Minor Tail Protein Cluster in Mycobacterium Phage ThreeRNGTarjay

Simpson, Arren E., Jada J. Nelson, Stephanie B. Conant, Jonathan S. Finkel, and Jacob D. Kagey

Bacteriophages are in vast abundance in the world yet there is a gap in the knowledge about these diverse viruses. Phage Biology discovers the evolutionary mechanisms, structures, and genomics of bacteriophages.The SEA- Phage program allows researchers in all areas to take part in the expansion of bacteriophage intelligence, through isolation, amplification, and DNA extraction. We sent DNA to the University of Pittsburgh for sequencing which lead us into the Bioinformatics process of genome annotation. Our novel sequenced phage ThreeRNGTarjay is a Cluster J siphoviridae that was found in the wood chips of Shiple dormitory at the University of Detroit Mercy. ThreeRNGTarjay’s genome comprised 158,000 base pairs; therefore, pairs of researchers were given sections of the genome to be confirmed, analyzed and corrected. Our section of genes included a cluster of minor tail proteins ,a frameshift, and one tRNA gene. The frameshift, in genes 30 and 31, was determined by a tail chaperone protein which usually  indicates a frameshift. DNA master showed that gene 30 blasted with the first half of the tail chaperone protein from the mycobacterium phage RedNo2 and gene 31 aligned with the second half of the tail chaperone protein from the same related phage, confirming the slippery sequence. Therefore, we saw that the middle portion of the tail protein was missing in the blast data from 63-209 bp. We looked for the missing segment of the tail chaperone by aligning the sequences of ThreeRNGTarjay’s genes 30 and 31 with RedNo2’s genes 31 and 32, respectively. Following the frameshift, we discovered the cluster of minor tail proteins from genes 33-37 which is a conserved trend found in cluster J phages and further confirmed by sequential blast data in the following genes.