The Study of the Isolated Mycobacteriophage ThreeRngTarjay

Hammoud, Zahraa, Lizbeth Garcia, Nour El Yaman, Stephanie B. Conant, Jonathan S. Finkel, and Jacob D. Kagey

For years antibiotics have been specialized sources for treating bacterial infections, resulting in an antibiotic resistance dilemma. As a result, researchers have been working towards making phage therapy a more effective alternative. The objective was to isolate ThreeRngTarjay, a lysogenic, temperate mycobacteriophage, belonging to the Siphoviridae cluster family, in the interest of studying its genome sequence. Unlike most mycobacteriophages that range from 50 to 200 genes, ThreeRngTarjay has 244 genes and 113,254 base pairs. As well as having a large genome, ThreeRngTarjay has many interesting genes with interesting functions, BLAST data, and unique placements of genes. Gene 27, a short reverse gene is placed in the first 201 genes that are all characterized as forward genes. However, like many other genes in ThreeRngTarjay, the start site was changed in order to prove gp27 is a real gene that belongs to the genome of ThreeRngTarjay. In comparison, Gene 8 has 2583 base pairs, with one of the largest gene tape measures among most forward genes. Between Gene 7 and 8, there was an unusually large gap which we inserted Gene 7.5 within. Other unique genes include Gene 10, which functions for portal protein, while gene 11 functions for capsid maturation protease. Gene 12 functions as a major capsid protein, while gene 29 functions for major tail subunit. This is interesting because other genes do not share the same functions. All of these genes are becoming of a wide interest throughout our research findings, as well as research on mycobacteriophages in general. As we conduct this research, our goal is to contribute to the understanding of phage therapy in order to solve issues relating to antibiotic resistance.