The effects of viral infection and lysis by cyanophage LPP-1 on the lipid composition of the cyanobacterium Plectonema boryanum

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Tessa Allen
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University Honors College, Middle Tennessee State University
The role of host lipids during viral infection is an area of study only recently examined within the last two decades, and existing literature is limited. The few studies that exist have been limited to observations in eukaryotes and heterotrophic prokaryotes. Since cyanophages have been considered as a means for biotic control of cyanobacterial harmful agal blooms, understanding the replication of cyanophages and their effect on host cells is critical to optimizing their utilization. This research focused on establishing the galactolipid profile of cyanobacterium Plectonema boryanum, and on the effects of cyanophage LPP-1 on the galactolipid composition of Plectonema boryanum. Nine major galactolipids were found and identified as either mono- or digalactosyldiacylglycerol (MDGD or DGDG, respectively) with the dominant regiochemisty exhibited being the C18/C16 form. A difference in the relative abundance of 18:3/16:1 MGDG between infected and uninfected cultures of Plectonema boryanum was observed; however, further research must be conducted to confirm the significance this observation. KEYWORDS: cyanobacteria; lipids; galactolipids; cyanophage; bacteriophage; infection