Viral Evolution; Computer Science And Molecular Biology
This project improves our understanding of the molecular basis of viral evolution, and trains a computer scientist in biological lab techniques in order to facilitate cross-fertilization between the two disciplines. The experiments return eight phage isolates that have adapted to variations in host, temperature, and salinity to common ancestral conditions. After adaptation, virus isolates will be sequenced over their entire genome, and the changes mapped onto protein sequences and three-dimensional structure. Phylogenetic analysis on these sequences and a related phage will be performed. The senior computer scientist performing these experiments will gain practical experience with many different lab and analysis techniques, and the experimental results will provide a temporal, genome-wide picture of viral adaptation.