2016 Research in the Capitol

Title

Isolation Methods and DNA Analysis of Small Bacteriophages of Bacillus Anthracis

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Keywords

Bacillus anthracis; Bacteriophages;

Abstract

Bacteriophages are viruses that infect or exploit an organism as a parasite. Bacillus anthracis the causal agent of anthrax disease and the source of ‘bio-weaponized’ anthrax spores acts as host to parasites. Our research on phages of B. anthracis continues efforts to reduce the bioterror and disease threats posed by anthrax spores. Having previously selected phages that adhere to, and kill B. anthracis bacteria emerging from spores, special interest is now focused on smaller phages with the same capabilities. Since 1998, we have developed phage based study systems that can kill anthrax bacteria and detect anthrax spores from air samples using an electronic (Quartz Crystal Microbalance) spore detector prototype. The detector produced poor signal quality due to characteristics of the unintentionally selected larger, ‘tailed phages’. Smaller (‘tailess’) phages offer qualities that overcome problems with the less uniform QCM electrode surface and may improved signal quality.

Start Date

29-3-2016 11:30 AM

End Date

29-3-2016 1:30 PM

Event Host

University Honors Programs, Iowa Regent Universities

Faculty Advisor

Michael Walter

Department

Department of Biology

Comments

Location: Iowa State House, Rotunda, Des Moines, Iowa

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Mar 29th, 11:30 AM Mar 29th, 1:30 PM

Isolation Methods and DNA Analysis of Small Bacteriophages of Bacillus Anthracis

Bacteriophages are viruses that infect or exploit an organism as a parasite. Bacillus anthracis the causal agent of anthrax disease and the source of ‘bio-weaponized’ anthrax spores acts as host to parasites. Our research on phages of B. anthracis continues efforts to reduce the bioterror and disease threats posed by anthrax spores. Having previously selected phages that adhere to, and kill B. anthracis bacteria emerging from spores, special interest is now focused on smaller phages with the same capabilities. Since 1998, we have developed phage based study systems that can kill anthrax bacteria and detect anthrax spores from air samples using an electronic (Quartz Crystal Microbalance) spore detector prototype. The detector produced poor signal quality due to characteristics of the unintentionally selected larger, ‘tailed phages’. Smaller (‘tailess’) phages offer qualities that overcome problems with the less uniform QCM electrode surface and may improved signal quality.