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Bacteriophages are highly diverse and infect essentially all microbes on earth. Their genomes encode products that have been useful for biotechnology applications including food safety diagnostics, antibiotic resistant strain therapeutics, DNA delivery vehicles, strain construction and many more relevant technologies. This project addresses the biology and biotechnological applications of bacteriophages, starting from total genome sequence to specific gene function, process and application. The major goals of this project are: 1) isolation and genomic sequencing of new bacteriophages infecting Mycobacterium spp. (soil hydrocarbon bioremediation bacteria), Aeromonas spp. (opportunistic fish pathogen), Paenibacillus larvae (honeybee pathogen), Salmonella spp., Xanthomonas spp. (plant pathogen) and others; 2) annotation of sequenced genomes for accurate gene prediction and function; 3) confirmation of encoded gene product function through expression analysis, RNA or protein studies, and enzyme activity assays; and 4) derivation of biotechnologically relevant applications from phage genomes for food safety, environmental, plant and animal health issues.

Miller, Eric
North Carolina State University
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