Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Rodney King (Director), Dr. Sigrid Jacobshagen, Dr. Claire Rinehart

Degree Program

Department of Biology

Degree Type

Masters of Biology


Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria and they are the most numerous biological entities on Earth. Temperate phage can adopt two different lifestyles. In the lytic lifestyle, a phage injects its genome into the host and a controlled developmental program ensues. The phage DNA is replicated, phage genes are expressed and new viral particles are assembled. Ultimately, the host cell lyses and the phage particles are released into the environment. In the lysogenic lifestyle, a phage integrates its genome into the host chromosome, creating a prophage. The cell containing the prophage is known as a lysogen. Most prophage genes are not expressed. However, those that are encode a wide variety of functions. One function is exclusion, or the prevention of a different phage type from successfully infecting the lysogenic cell. Most exclusion systems are limited to a specific phage. Bacteriophage HK239 is unique in that it has a wide range of exclusion including Lambda, P1vir, P2, HK022, and T4rII. To learn more about HK239, the genome was sequenced and annotated. The genome is 41,538 bp in length and there are 71 open reading frames. It has a genomic organization similar to other lambda phage and is most closely related to bacteriophage HK022. No additional genes that share homology with known exclusion functions were identified through the sequence analysis of the HK239 genome. It is possible that an open reading frame for which no database matches were found may indeed encode an exclusion function.


Biotechnology | Genetics | Genetics and Genomics