Genomic Annotation of a Segment of Bacteriophage ThreeRngTarjay

Aklestad, Isabel, Sarah Buhay, Stephanie B. Conant, Jonathan S. Finkel, and Jacob D. Kagey

Bacteriophages are bacterial viruses that are capable of infecting bacterial cells, inserting their DNA into the host genome, and either residing in the genome or lysing the cell. Bacteriophages pose methods to combat the growing problem of antibiotic resistance in bacterial strains, thus leading to the application of bacteriophages in medical, dietary, and gene therapy fields as more research is performed. ThreeRngTarjay is a siphoviridae bacteriophage discovered in front of the freshman dormitory on the campus of University of Detroit Mercy by students in the Biology Research Coordination Network of the university. The DNA of ThreeRngTarjay was purified, isolated, and sent out for genomic sequencing. After receiving the results, we focused on confirming the annotations provided through a hand-annotation process of divided segments of the large genome with computer programs such as DNAMaster, GeneMark, and Glimmer. The goal of the study is to contribute to the expansion of phage knowledge and to provide possible insight of phage capabilities and applications through the annotation of the genome. Two sections of the genome were annotated in this study-one consisting of all rightward oriented genes and a tRNA, and the second consisting of genes all oriented in the opposite direction. No initial genes were deleted nor were any genes added that were not originally predicted in the given annotation. Genes gp166, gp192, gp234, however, were all given new start codons based on reasonable data that matches these genes to known genes of the bacteriophage Wanda. The three resulting genes lead to understanding phage homology and known capabilities based on gene conservation from relatives. The unique tRNA present is also of interest due to being the only translation functional device found within the genome.