Essay on The Genetic Material Of Phages
Bacteriophages, informally known as phages, are a specific type of virus that only infect bacteria. Since their discovery in the early 1900s , researchers have began studying the various behaviors and interactions of phages within the environment (Poxleitner, Pope, Jacobs-Sera, Sivanathan, & Hatfull, 2016). Their name, bacteriophages, is derived from the idea that they are “bacteria eaters.” Due to their bacteria-destroying nature, they have been used in phage therapy in which they are used to kill bacteria that are highly resistant to antibiotics (Sadava, Hillis, Heller, & Berenbaum, 2014). Researchers analyze the genetic material of phages in order to gain a deeper understanding of them. Hence, the goal of this lab is to analyze phage DNA. Currently, the experiments conducted in the lab are geared towards the completion of phage isolation and purification. All experiments were conducted using aseptic technique. Since they are viruses, phages require a host whose reproductive machinery it can hijack and use to pass on its own genetic material (Nowak, et al., 2014). The host bacteria for this lab is Mycobacterium smegmatis, also known as M. smegmatis or mc2155.
Methods and Materials
Materials: Pipettes, conical tubes, microcentrifuge tubes, burner, vortex, phage buffer, D29, Mycobacterium smegmatis, .22 micron filter, enrichment broth, 1x top agar, petri dishes, plastic bag
Collecting Environmental Samples
Materials: Plastic bag, smartphone GPS/SEA-PHAGES app