Phagehunting Success!


Sure we do! I am proud to announce that Brenda Bott from Shawnee Mission West and Jeff Witters from Olathe South successfully GOT PHAGE in Kansas! Congratulations!

Below, you can see images of the subcultured plaques – the circular fields where their viruses have infected, replicated, and lysed small portions of the lawn of mycobacterium host.


Brenda and Jeff were among the twenty participants in the Stowers Institute Phagehunting Workshop in early May facilitated by Dr. Arcady Mushegian at the institute and run by Dr. Deborah Jacobs-Sera from Hatfull Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh (Phagehunting Wiki site)

Brenda and Jeff named their novel phages “tallgrassmm” and “IsaacEli”, respectively, and here are their personal explanations for their choices…

“The name indicates the nature/source of the soil sample in which the phage was found” – Brenda

“Isaac helped me get the samples, mostly by “falling” into the mud whenever he got the chance. My boys may or may not be thrilled that I named a virus after them when they’re old enough to understand, but I figured I better include both. Can you imagine the fights if I didn’t!” – Jeff

So, congratulations again to Brenda and Jeff! And thanks to Arcady and Stowers and Deborah and the University of Pittsburgh for bringing this educational opportunity to the Kansas City area!



Author: Eric Kessler

I am a high school teacher in the Blue Valley School District who has taught a Bioscience Research course at the district's Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) since 2010. Previous to this teaching gig I was at Blue Valley North High School where I taught freshman Biology and Honors Biology, Field Biology, Zoology, and AP Biology for the past 18 years.

2 thoughts on “Phagehunting Success!”

  1. Outstanding results!

    Jeff, I’m betting when they’re actually old enough to understanding they’ll be thrilled you did.

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