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1st Place Grand Award, ISEF Finalist and UA Scholarship
My project explores the diversity and function of prophages within symbiotic and free-living terrestrial cyanobacteria, specifically focusing on the question: Does the number of prophage content differ in symbiotic and free-living terrestrial Nostoc, a kind of cyanobacteria? While many studies have been conducted on prophages within marine and human-associated microbiome, few have been conducted on prophages in terrestrial and symbiotic environments. These two environments are the two areas my project is focusing on. My results show that more prophages were found in free-living Nostoc, many of the prophages that were found were potentially novel viruses, and that of the known prophages found, many were similar to prophages found previously in marine cyanobacteria. Prophages have significant impacts on their ecosystems and the organisms within them. By addressing prophages found in terrestrial and symbiotic environments, scientists can continue to learn how prophages in terrestrial environments affect their surroundings.