Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




As the most abundant and diverse biological agents in the biosphere phage have significant roles in microbial ecology, acting both as lethal bacterial parasites and vehicles of horizontal gene transfer. Phage/host coevolution drives optimization of phage codon usage for use of host translational machinery, thus lowered correspondence between phage and host codon usage reduces viral fitness. Some phage may partially bypass host translational selection on their codon usage by encoding their own tRNAs, although the effects of these tRNAs on phage codon usage and translation has not been well examined. This work explores the influence of phage encoded tRNAs on viral codon usage via 1) codon usage analysis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa phage phiKZ and EL; 2) attempted engineering of phiKZ populations with deoptimized proline tRNAs; and 3) engineering and experimental evolution of mutant phiKZ strain, B1, with duplicated aspartic acid, methionine, and proline tRNAs.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.