Bacteriophages are small viruses that infect bacteria. Each bacteriophage is specific to their host. Bacteriophages used in this study were collected from water and soil samples located in the Mount Vernon, IA area. They were grown with host specific bacteria, and a high concentration of bacteriophage was determined before nucleic acids were isolated. Nucleic acids isolated from the water samples disappeared in the presence of both RNase and DNase. Orcinol tests performed for these samples were negative for the presence of RNA. Bacteriophages collected from soil samples were abandoned during this project due to no results shown during plaque assays. Development of techniques for distinguishing RNA from DNA using high pressure liquid chromatography were initiated, but not yet successful.
Amanda Prince, ’03 Hartford, IA
Major: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Sponsor: Jeffrey Cardon