Nicole Dubilier Lab and Matthew Sullivan Lab Master's thesis project Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Bremen, Germany and Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA and September 18, 2017 until present
Project aims: 1. Examine the virome associated with the symbiosis between Bathymodiolus mussels (pictured below) and their sulfur and methane oxidizing symbionts. 2. Assess the effectiveness of two phage induction approaches: heat shock and UV light exposure on mussel gill tissue
Picture of Bathymodiolus mussels at a deep sea vent.
My project examines sequences corresponding to viruses in metagenomic sequence data from gill tissues of Bathymodiolus mussels, where their symbionts reside. Because the biomass of viruses is typically almost too small for analysis, viruses in the samples were induced to replicate via heat shock or UV light exposure.
Despite efforts (ie filtration, spin gradient separation) to reduce amount of mussel and microbial material in the samples then sent for sequencing, most of the sequences in the resulting data correspond to mussels and their symbionts. I am currently tackling the challenge of removing this contamination before I can assemble my sequence reads and find out which viruses are there. Stay tuned.