Date of Award

Spring 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Eugene Wu


Due to the inherently error-prone nature of RNA replication, mutations to genomes of RNA viruses occur frequently and accumulate. We hypothesized that RNA versions of nucleoside analogues that increase mutation rates in DNA could cause increases in the mutation rate of a model RNA virus, Reovirus, and decrease the fitness of the virus in vitro due to the accumulation of deleterious mutations. After conducting multiple passages of Reovirus in mouse L929 cells in the presence of these potential RNA mutagens in four separate trials, there were not only virus samples with the expected decreased infectivity, but surprisingly, samples with marked increases in infectivity. The life histories of these Reoviruses under mutagenesis may clarify likely consequences of mutagenic antiviral therapy.

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