Implications of the TCA Cycle on Escherichia coli Growth and Phage Replication


ATP provides energy for the cellular processes in E. coli. The E. coli icd gene encodes the enzyme isocitrate dehydrogenase which is used in the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle to make ATP. We hypothesize that T4 phage is dependent on ATP production in the host cell in order to successfully replicate. Our research aims to find if an E. coli bacteria strain lacking the icd gene will show decreased T4 phage replication because of its decreased ATP production compared to E. coli bacteria strains that possess the icd gene with normal ATP production. Decreased ATP production in the E. coli host will result in a decrease in bacterial growth rate and T4 phage replication. Plaque assays, growth curves, and lysis curves were used to monitor bacterial growth and phage replication. Host cells lacking the icd gene had decreased bacterial growth. T4 phage replication is slower in the host cells lacking the icd gene. It is the hope that these results and future research will contribute to phage therapy, a promising development in treating bacterial diseases.