Early events in the infection cycle of bacteriophage T7



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The emergence of molecular biology as a discipline was dependent on the use of bacteriophages as model organisms. The T-series of phages were first characterized in 1945, and while its members have since been used as tools for probing genetic structure and function, much remains unknown about these phages themselves. This lab has long focused on phage T7, and while we have a superficial understanding about the major processes in its life cycle, in the past decade, advances in imaging technology have allowed not only new insights, but new questions to emerge. In Chapter 1, I provide a brief history of phage biology and background on phage T7. In Chapter 2, I visit the topic of T7 DNA replication, using an alternative method to investigate timing and quantity. In Chapter 3, I describe the observation of an ATP synthase superstructure formed around the phage T7 DNA translocation apparatus, and use a method pioneered in this lab for investigating how ATP synthase might be involved in phage infection. Altogether, this work brings new understanding to the process of phage T7 DNA entry and offers the possibility for the discovery of a new class of biological rotary motors.



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