My project aims to understand the possible role of ICP1 phage in the extinction of classical biotype Vibrio cholerae and the emergence of the El-Tor biotype. ICP1 is abundantly found in patient rice water stool samples and has a functional CRISPR/Cas (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats/CRISPR associated proteins) system. Classical biotype Vibrio also has a CRISPR/Cas system, while El-Tor doesn’t. Therefore, I hypothesize that ICP1 may have rendered the classical biotype CRISPR/Cas system ineffective, contributing to its extinction. I will test my hypothesis by setting up a “CRISPR/Cas battle" between ICP1 and the classical biotype to uncover a possible reason for the extinction of this biotype.
BS, Cell & Molecular Biology, Towson University, Towson, MD