Bacteriophages, viruses that specifically infect bacteria, are, by far, the majority of all biological entities in the biosphere. The viral population, including bacteriophage, is very diverse yet relatively few viral genomes have been sequenced. In this series of lectures, Hatfull argues that viral genomes provide a great source of new genes, potentially with new functions and structures.
In Part 1, Hatfull describes what bacteriophage are, some of their biological properties and how they were discovered. In Part 2, he discusses the organization of bacteriophage genomes and explains how genomic sequence comparison can provide information about viral evolution. And in part 3, Hatfull describes work from his lab on mycobacteriophages, phage that infect mycobacteria including M. tuberculosis, the causative agent of the human disease tuberculosis. By studying mycobacteriophage, Hatfull hopes to better understand tuberculosis and perhaps develop methods for its control.
Graham Hatfull is Professor of Biotechnology and Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor. He received his PhD from Edinburgh University and was a post-doctoral fellow with Nigel Grindley at Yale University and Fred Sanger at the MRC. His lab focuses on studying… Continue Reading