Where to hunt for phage?

Before starting out on my phage hunt, I did a bit of background research on Pseudomonas fluorescens, the bacterial species we are trying to infect. I found that P. fluorescens has a commensal relationship with plants. It enhances plants wellbeing through pathogenic defence, pollutant degradation and nutrient uptake assistance. It is therefore a valuable ingredient in modern agriculture. With this knowledge, I realised that perhaps I lived in the perfect area for a successful hunt for Albany used to be full of orchards. I had a suspicion that perhaps my phage was lurking beneath the roots of orchard trees. Of the ten environmental samples I collected, the soils from underneath pear trees in the remnant orchard Kell Park, appear to be the most promising… and the most exciting!

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2 Responses to Where to hunt for phage?

  1. nathanalexanderlong says:

    I wish i had been onto it like you and done some research on the bacteria strain we were attempting to infect. Despite this i still got still got phage, the two locations i found the most phage were in my mums garden and in the small orchard outside my house. If I had done my research this wouldn’t have come as a surprise but it is still reassuring to see the data support the theory.

  2. charlotterobertson007 says:

    Research and the ability to think analytically and creatively is a very important part of science, as we have learnt in this class. While Kell Park orchard may have supported phage, our lab media apparently did not. Sadly, my new-found phage has all but vanished, despite our best resuscitation efforts through research and analytical thinking. This course is an awesome opportunity to contribute to science and I really want to isolate a phage this year. I will continue on with the Phage Hunt by recollecting environment samples for isolation tomorrow. I have decided to resample from the same orchard because I know there are phage lurking there, but I will also sample from some recently acquired organic compost seeming as this media was so popular with phage last year. Finding phage in compost makes sense doesn’t it? My reasoning is that if P. fluorescens lives on and around plants, when leaves and fruit senesce (die and fall off), any bacteria on these leaves should live on as the leaves go through the composting process in the soil. This is unless the bacteria require live plant material. If this hypothesis holds, shouldn’t there be a good chance of finding P. fluorescens phage in the abundance of autumn leaves around?

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