Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date

Spring 5-2016


Mycobacteriophage (phage) are a diverse group of viruses that infect Mycobacterium. Their study allows further understanding of viral evolution and genetics. Phage tightly control gene expression and transcribe their genes using host RNA polymerases. This project identifies potential transcriptional control elements in the genome of mycobacteriophage Ukulele. Promoters are sequences of the genome that allow binding of RNA polymerase and initiation of transcription. 21 putative promoters were identified in the Ukulele genome. To confirm transcriptional activity from putative promoters, a GFP reporter system was developed in mycobacterial cells. Intrinsic terminators are mRNA sequences that form secondary structure during transcription and stall the RNA polymerase. In Ukulele, 19 terminators were identified computationally. Future research includes confirmation of these terminators. Identification of elements that control transcription allows better understanding of phage gene expression.