Chiara's Findings

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Petri dishes containing M. smegmatis bacteria are shown below.  The spots are where phage have destroyed (lysed) bacteria.  We also have electron-micrographs (pictures at 50,000 magnification) and DNA analysis of these phage.  We would have posted these online, but we have found out that the scientific publication copyright on certain scientific journals (PDF file, search for the word "web" within) restricts us from this.

CKCA-03-9 F1 (Lucy)                          W100-03-39 F0 (Killah)

    

CKCA-03-9 F2 (Lucy) 100                 CKCA-03-9 F2 (Lucy) 10-2

    

CKCA-03-9 F1 is at 10-0 dilution.  W100-03-39 F0 is undiluted.  CKCA-03-9 is an interesting phage as it has different plaque morphologies at the 100 and 10-2 dilutions, we are currently in the process of trying to understand what causes the very large plaque morphology as seen in the CKCA-03-9 F2 100 concentration of phage, comparing to the CKCA-03-9 F2 10-2 concentration of phage.  Also, note the different plaque morphologies this phage had at F1, comparing to the F2 generation.  This could be a function of the experimental conditions and we are trying to determine which conditions result in these morphologies. 

In conclusion of my summer experience, I would like to sum up my discoveries about my phages. I believe that the large plaque seen in the F2 generation is a result of the phage being clumped together (perhaps due to the agar it was harvested from). All further plating of Lucy resulted in the plaque morphology seen in the 10^-2 dilution. Killah's plaque morphology remained the same for all other platings. We have tentatively concluded that Lucy's different plaque morphologies are a result of the concentration of M. smegmatis, because the incubation time was the same for all samples.

In additional studies, we are using Rhodococcus in the same way we used M. smegmatis to see is there are any phages that infect Rhodococcus in our soil samples. The soil that Killah was isolated from is being used in this experiment.