Kenneth Stedman

Date of Award

Fall 12-23-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Biology



Physical Description

1 online resource (x, 264 pages)


Archaebacteria, Viruses, Genomics, Viral genetics




Viruses infecting the Archaea exhibit a tremendous amount of morphological and genetic diversity. This is especially true for crenarchaeal viruses from the family Fuselloviridae, which possess spindle-shaped capsids and genomes that harbor a great number of uncharacterized genes. The functions of these unidentified gene products are of interest as they have the potential to provide valuable insights into the fusellovirus infection cycle and archaeal viruses in general. In an effort to better characterize the genetic requirements of the Fuselloviridae, we have performed genetic and biochemical experiments using the best studied fusellovirus, Sulfolobus spindle-shaped virus 1 (SSV1).

A comprehensive genetic analysis of SSV1 was conducted using long inverse PCR and transposon mutagenesis. The results of this work illustrate that SSV1 is highly tolerant of mutagenesis. A robust protocol for the purification of recombinant VP2 protein from E. coli was developed and should be useful for future studies aimed at characterizing the biochemical and structural characteristics of this SSV1 structural protein. Finally, the first insights into a fusellovirus infection are presented and provide the framework for a detailed characterization of the fusellovirus infection cycle. The results and significance of this work are presented in the chapters that follow.

Persistent Identifier

Included in

Virology Commons