Characterizing Inhibitory Systems in an Ecological and Evolutionary Context: Reduction and Escape in Phi X 174
Biggs, Karin Rachel Harrington
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Many emerging epidemics of the 20th century are characterized by high viral density in the host, so understanding intraspecific competition could be a key in determining effective treatment strategies. At these high within-host densities, intraspecific competition can become a major driver of evolution, favoring ecological shifts from r-selected reproductive strategies to K-selected strategies. This can lead to the evolution of defective interfering particles and superinfection exclusion. Here, we characterize the scope and specificity of an inhibitory system known as the reduction effect in phiX174. To do this, we will utilize a collection of phiX-like phages, as well as a collection of mutants identified through evolution.Next, we will evaluate the depth of resistance achievable in 150 generations through short-term evolution in a homogeneous environment. Finally, we will analyze how the reduction effect and superinfection exclusion shape long-term evolution of phiX174 based on a previous study where an arms race was observed. This long-term dataset aims to elucidate the mutations that lead to the coevolution of inhibition and escape in phiX174.