Classification of Bacteriophages using Polymerase Chain Reaction

richessewoozyBiotechnology

Oct 1, 2013 (4 years and 1 month ago)

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CELLUAR AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY

Classification
of Bacteriophages using Polymerase Chain Reaction
: An Alternative to
Complete Genome Sequencing. CHARLES A. COOMER*and RODNEY A. KING,
Department of Biology, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY
42101.


Students in the Genome Discovery and Exploration
program

at Western
Kentucky University

isolate and characterize novel bacteriophages from the
environment

as part of a year
-
long
,

inquiry
-

based introduction to genomics and
bioinformatics
. Although

sequencing 1 or 2
bacteriophage genomes is relatively
inexpensive, sequencing 20 genomes is
cost
prohibitive. Therefore, most of the
bacteriophages isolated by the participating students are not sequenced and our
understanding of the genomic diversity of

these bacteriophage
s
is incomplete. We have
used polymerase chain reaction

(PCR)

to place the newly isolated phages into groups

or clusters

of
related bacteriophages. Our results suggest that bacteriophage
classification by PCR analysis is not only a vi
able alternative to complete genomic
sequencing, but it is cost effective and time efficient. The “pre
-
classification” of newly
isolated bacteriophage by PCR facilitates the rapid identification of new members of
clusters that have very f
ew representatives
. Therefore, our understanding of
bacteriophage genomic
diversity can be
rapidly expanded

by directing our
sequencing
efforts toward members of these underrepresented clusters.