The Symbiotic Relationship Between a Bacteriophage and the Mucus Layer of a Metazoan Host

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The purpose of the study by Barr et al. is to investigate an assumed symbiotic relationship between a bacteriophage and the mucus layer of a metazoan host, which may create a defense against microbes to protect the mucus layers from bacterial infection. The mucus layer has about four times more phage than bacteria, which is seen in preliminary testing, and because phage encode hypervariable proteins that may aid in adsorption to bacteria prey, the phages may work to protect the mucus layer be adhering to the surface with the hoc protein found in the capsid of the T4 bacteriophage. The study hopes to explain the importance of the co-evolution between phages and the mucus layer by presenting evidence of their symbiotic relationship, which…show more content…
The purpose of the study by Barr et al. is to investigate an assumed symbiotic relationship between a bacteriophage and the mucus layer of a metazoan host, which may create a defense against microbes to protect the mucus layers from bacterial infection. The mucus layer has about four times more phage than bacteria, which is seen in preliminary testing, and because phage encode hypervariable proteins that may aid in adsorption to bacteria prey, the phages may work to protect the mucus layer be adhering to the surface with the hoc protein found in the capsid of the T4 bacteriophage. The study hopes to explain the importance of the co-evolution between phages and the mucus layer by presenting evidence of their symbiotic relationship, which could help to treat bacterial infections with further investigation. There were three experiments completed to investigate the relationship between the mucus layer and the phages present. The researchers studied the phage adherence to the mucus, the phage adherence with infection, and the role of the capsid in the phage adherence. The results of the experiments supported the idea that Hoc proteins found within the capsid interact with mucin, a glycoprotein on the mucus layer. The research helped to develop the bacteriophage adherence to mucus (BAM) model, in which phages provide a defense against microbial species on the surface of the mucus layer. This model will be useful to when expanding the topic because based on the idea that the model
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