Brevibacillus laterosporus (B. laterosporus) is a pathogen difficult to distinguish from Paenibacillus larvae (P. larvae), and contributes to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) of honeybees. To develop a biocontrol agent to limit its presence, bacteriophages were isolated from Utah County soil samples and used to infect B. laterosporus isolated from Utah County honey and larvae samples. Since CCD is prevalent in Utah beehives, bacteriophage that infect and lyse B. laterosporus may be isolated and characterized. Pathogens were isolated from soil samples, and 16S rRNA gene tests initially identified the strains as P. larvae. Bacteriophages were isolated, purified, and amplified sufficiently to obtain images by electron microscope and genome sequencing by 454 pyrosequencing. Genomes were annotated with DNA Master, a Multiple Document Interface (MDI) program. Open reading frames (ORF's) were compared to the National Center for Biotechnology Information's (NCBI) database of primary biological sequence information via the Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) algorithm. Later testing determined the pathogen to actually be B. laterosporus. Plaques demonstrated lytic activity, and electron microscopy revealed bacteriophages of the myoviridae family. The five sequenced genomes were composed of linear dsDNA ranging from 45,552 to 58,572 base pairs in length, 92 to 100 genes per genome, and a 38.10% to 41.44% range of G + C content. Discovering and describing new bacteriophages is a reasonably reproducible process and contributes to appreciating the diverse relationships between bacteriophage, bacteria, and eukaryota. Scientific facilitation of the bacteriophages role in limiting detrimental bacteria may contribute as an adjunctive therapy for CCD.



College and Department

Life Sciences; Microbiology and Molecular Biology



Date Submitted


Document Type





American Foulbrood, bacteriophage, Brevibacillus laterosporus, colony collapse disorder, European Foulbrood, genome, Paenibacillus larvae, Utah



Included in

Microbiology Commons