Title

Whole Genome Comparison of a Large Collection of Mycobacteriophages Reveals a Continuum of Phage Genetic Diversity

Student Authors

Alecia M. Achimovich '16, Gettysburg College

Gabrielle Benson '15, Gettysburg College

Katherine E. Boas '16, Gettysburg College

Ashley Boone, Gettysburg College

Laura E. Brumbaugh '17, Gettysburg College

Warren Campbell, Gettysburg College

Emily Carlisi '15, Gettysburg College

Allison P. Cole '17, Gettysburg College

Alex P. Delenko '17, Gettysburg College

Michael A. DiCandia '15, Gettysburg College

Matthew R. Dunworth '16, Gettysburg College

Rose Fogliano '16, Gettysburg College

Sarah G. Francisco '17, Gettysburg College

Celina M. Harris '17, Gettysburg College

Kendra J. Hayden '12, Gettysburg College

Stacey L. Heaver '15, Gettysburg College

Bethany Holtz '16, Gettysburg College

Emily S. Jankowski '16, Gettysburg College

Joshua B. Kiehl '17, Gettysburg College

Chad C. Killen '15, Gettysburg College

Kristen Kornsey, Gettysburg College

Ignacio Landaverde, Gettysburg College

Jonathan F. Leonard '17, Gettysburg College

Aden E. Lessiak '15, Gettysburg College

Emily M. Love '16, Gettysburg College

Theresa N. Menna '17, Gettysburg College

Savannah G. Miller '17, Gettysburg College

Krupa H. Patel '15, Gettysburg College

Anya Pierson, Gettysburg College

Adam D. Poff '16, Gettysburg College

Taylor L. Randell '17, Gettysburg College

Tiffany A. Ravelomanantsoa '17, Gettysburg College

Joseph D. Robinson '15, Gettysburg College

Samantha A. Siomko '17, Gettysburg College

Natalie T. Tanke '17, Gettysburg College

Melissa R. Tighe '15, Gettysburg College

Brianne E. Tomko '16, Gettysburg College

William D. Ueckermann '17, Gettysburg College

David R. Van Doren '16, Gettysburg College

Albert C. Vill '16, Gettysburg College

Lauren A. Wilson '15, Gettysburg College

Manhao Zeng '15, Gettysburg College

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-2015

Department

Biology

Abstract

The bacteriophage population is large, dynamic, ancient, and genetically diverse. Limited genomic information shows that phage genomes are mosaic, and the genetic architecture of phage populations remains ill-defined. To understand the population structure of phages infecting a single host strain, we isolated, sequenced, and compared 627 phages of Mycobacterium smegmatis. Their genetic diversity is considerable, and there are 28 distinct genomic types (clusters) with related nucleotide sequences. However, amino acid sequence comparisons show pervasive genomic mosaicism, and quantification of inter-cluster and intra-cluster relatedness reveals a continuum of genetic diversity, albeit with uneven representation of different phages. Furthermore, rarefaction analysis shows that the mycobacteriophage population is not closed, and there is a constant influx of genes from other sources. Phage isolation and analysis was performed by a large consortium of academic institutions, illustrating the substantial benefits of a disseminated, structured program involving large numbers of freshman undergraduates in scientific discovery.

Comments

Original version is available from the publishers at: http://elifesciences.org/content/4/e06416/article-info