Characterization of Viral Communities in Soil, Activated Sludge, and Influent
Type of Degreethesis
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Viruses are the most abundant yet uncharacterized biological entities on the planet. This thesis is a survey of viral communities in soil, activated sludge (AS), and influent (IN). Both culture-dependent and culture-independent techniques were used to assess the viral communities. Linker-amplified shotgun subclone viral metagenomic libraries were constructed from all environments and a bacteriophage culture collection was constructed from the activated sludge sample for use in comparison of the two culture assessment methods. The bioinformatics analysis of the metagenomic libraries revealed that the viral communities studied were not well characterized in the GenBank databases and supported the hypothesis that different environments harbor distinct populations of viruses.