Mutational and molecular analyses of lactococcal bacteriophages TP901-1 and Tuc2009
Stockdale, Stephen R.
University College Cork
Bacteriophages belonging to the Siphoviridae family represent viruses with a noncontractile tail that function as extremely efficient bacterium-infecting nanomachines. The Siphoviridae phages TP901-1 and Tuc2009 infect Lactococcus lactis, and both belong to the so-called P335 species. As P335 phages are typically capable of a lytic and lysogenic life cycle, a number of molecular tools are available to analyse their virions. This doctoral thesis describes mutational and molecular analyses of TP901-1 and Tuc2009, with emphasis on the role of their tail-associated structural proteins. Several novel and intriguing findings discovered during the course of this study on the nature of Siphoviridae phages furthers a basic molecular understanding of their virions, and the role of their virion proteins, during the initial stages of infection. While Siphoviridae virions represent complex quaternary structures of multiple proteins and subunits thereof, mutagenic analysis represents an efficient mechanism to discretely characterize the function of individual proteins, and constituent amino acids, in the assembly of the phage structure and their biological function. However, as always, more research is required to delve deeper into the mechanisms by which phages commence infection. This is important to advance our understanding of this intricate process and to facilitate application of such findings to manipulate phage infections. On the one hand, we may want to prevent phages from infecting starter cultures used in the dairy industry, while on the other hand it may be desirable to optimize viral infection for the application of phages as bacterial parasites and therapeutic agents.
Siphoviridae , Bacteriophage structure , Bacteriophages of lactic acid bacteria
Stockdale, S. R. 2013. Mutational and molecular analyses of lactococcal bacteriophages TP901-1 and Tuc2009. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.