Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Michael H. Walter, Honors Thesis Advisor


Bacteriophages (phages) are viruses that specifically parasitize on bacteria and are found almost everywhere. Phages Phi 29 and Q11 are both small phages found in soil that attack Bacillus hosts. Previous Phi 29 studies verified a covalently bonded protein at the 5’ end of its double-stranded linear DNA. Q11 may have a similar 5’ terminal protein, which blocks complete sequencing of that DNA region. Because Q11 and phi29 are both small short-tailed phages that infect similar hosts, it could be possible the proteins are structurally similar. In previous work, I have attempted to use restriction endonuclease and exonuclease enzyme digests to isolate the fragment of DNA containing a terminal protein. More recently, I have turned to PCR amplification, mass spectroscopy (MS) data, and comparing the amino acid sequence of the proteins to identify similarities and differences between phi29 and Q11’s respective terminal proteins. I was not able to successfully amplify and express Q11’s suspected terminal protein. However, through MS data and comparing amino acid sequences, it can be assumed they are not the same protein.

Year of Submission



Department of Biology

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


Object Description

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