UCARE: Undergraduate Creative Activities & Research Experiences


Date of this Version


Document Type



Poster presentation, UCARE Research Fair, Spring 2020, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Copyright 2020 by the authors.


Microbiome studies have been critical to understanding host health and life history. Many studies primarily focus on understanding the impacts of bacteria on the host, while fewer examine the impacts of viruses on host fitness or the interaction between viruses and bacteria within a host. Here, we utilized shotgun sequencing to identify whether viruses were present in the model organism Daphnia magna. VIBRANT, a bioinformatic tool that utilizes hybrid machine learning and protein similarity to identify lytic genomes and other novel viruses, was used on sequencing data from four samples of adult and juvenile Daphnia. We found a complete, novel lytic phage in the D. magna virome. 47 genes were annotated within this phage coding for a range of bacterial and viral proteins, suggesting this phage may have a wide host range. This phage was also found to contain putative DNA polymerases, corresponding to a dsDNA virus. 82 other contigs from the initial set of 365,759 contigs, corresponding to 24 scaffolds, were also identified as putative viruses.