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H2 Genetics of Viruses & Bacteria

Multiple Choice Questions


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Viral genomes vary greatly in size ranging from four genes to several hundred genes.
Which of the following viral features is most apt to correlate with the size of the genome?
A

size of the viral capsomeres

RNA versus DNA genome

double stranded versus single stranded genomes

size and shape of the capsid

Emerging viruses arise by


A

mutation of existing viruses.

the spread of existing viruses to new host species.

the spread of existing viruses more widely within their host species.

all of the above.

To cause a human pandemic, the H5N1 avian flu virus would have to
A

become capable of human to human transmission.

develop into a virus with a different host range.

become much more pathogenic.

undergo an antigenic shift.

A bacterium is infected with an experimentally constructed bacteriophage composed of T2


phage protein coat and T4 phage DNA. The new phages produced would have
A

T2 protein and T2 DNA

T2 protein and T4 DNA

T4 protein and T2 DNA

T4 protein and T4 DNA

Some statements about the lytic cycle of a T4 bacteriophage are listed below.
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Bacteriophage tail fibres attach to receptors on the bacterial cell membrane.


Bacteriophage enzymes break down bacterial DNA.
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Bacteriophage nucleic acid, enzymes and other proteins are injected into the
bacterial cell.

New bacteriophages assembled.


Bacteriophage DNA replicates and codes for new bacteriophage proteins.
Release of bacteriophages.
Which sequence of these statements correctly describes the lytic cycle?

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

1, 3, 2, 4, 5, 6

1, 3, 2, 5, 4, 6

1, 3, 5, 2, 4, 6

The graph shows the changes in the core protein (capsid) concentration of the human
immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the blood stream after an HIV infection. The protein is
detected using antibodies.

What explains the apparent absence of the protein between three months and seven
years?

The core protein attaches to a CD4 receptor, therefore, it is not found in plasma.

The lipid bilayer envelope masks the core protein.

The patients own antibodies destroy the core protein.

The virus enters the latent phase.

A mutated lacI gene resulting in the failure of allolactose binding to the repressor protein
would cause
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H2 Genetics of Viruses & Bacteria

reduced expression of operon.

constitutive expression of the operon.

reversible binding of lac repressor protein to operon when lactose is present.

permanent binding of lac repressor protein to operon when lactose is present.

In generalised transduction, defective virus are formed as a result of


A

viral enzymes cutting the host DNA such that the host DNA is assembled into the new
virus.

production of host enzymes by virus which nicks its own DNA such that it can be
assembled into the new virus.

no shut down of host DNA production such that host DNA or the virus DNA can either
be assembled into the new virus.

integrate of virus DNA into host DNA and during excision the viral genome carries
along with it the host DNA to be assembled into the new virus.

The diagram shows the lac operon.


PI

LacI

Plac

LacZ

LacY

LacA

Mutation in which of the following DNA sequence(s) would result in the constitutive
synthesis of -galactosidase?

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11

LacZ and LacY

LacI and Plac

O and LacI

PI and Plac

Which component/s make up a virus?


A

protein particles only

DNA or RNA and a protein coat

DNA and RNA and a protein coat

DNA in a nucleus, RNA, ribosomes, plasma membrane, and a cell wall

Two strains of the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae were used in an experiment on mice.
The smooth (S) strain is a virulent strain whereas the rough (R) strain is a non- virulent strain.

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The diagram below shows the results of the experiment.

Which of the following accounts for the living S cells detected in the mouse blood sample, even
though the original injection mixture contained only heat-killed S cells and living R cells?

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Binary fission

Conjugation

Transduction

Transformation

A microbiologist analyzed the DNA of two E. coli cells, an F+ cell and an F- cell, before and
immediately after their conjugation. He found that ________________________________.
A

both cells lost some genes and gained others

both cells gained genes but lost none of their original genes

one cell lost genes and the other gained genes

one cell gained genes and the genes of the other were unchanged

How does a bacterial chromosome differ from a eukaryotic chromosome?

Bacterial chromosome

Eukaryotic chromosome

a circular, single-stranded

a linear, single-stranded DNA molecule with


many associated proteins

DNA molecule

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B

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H2 Genetics of Viruses & Bacteria

a circular, double-stranded DNA


molecule with associated proteins

a linear, double-stranded DNA molecule


with many associated proteins, including
histones

a circular, double-stranded DNA


molecule with associated histone
proteins

a linear, double-stranded DNA molecule


with many associated proteins

a linear, double-stranded DNA


molecule with many associated
proteins

a circular, double-stranded DNA molecule


with very few attached protein molecules

Which does not occur during the formation of bacterial messenger RNA?
A

formation of hydrogen bonds

initiation of translation

loss of water molecules

polymerization of deoxyribonucleotides

Which features of viruses account for them being obligate parasites?


1. All viruses are very small, ranging in size from 20-300nm.
2. Each virus contains only one type of nucleic acid.
3. Viruses can be crystallised.
4. Viruses cannot synthesise ATP.
5. Viruses have no cellular structure.
6. Viruses have no enzymes involved in metabolism outside a host cell.

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1, 3 and 5

1, 4 and 6

2, 3 and 5

2, 4 and 6

Some events that take place during the reproductive cycle of influenza virus are listed.
1. The virus enters the cytoplasm surrounded by a coated vesicle.
2. The nucleocapsid is released and viral RNA replicated by RNA polymerase.
3. Each replicated viral RNA is given a new envelope.
4. Viral hemagglutinin proteins bind to receptors in the host cell surface membrane.
5. Hemagglutinin and neuraminidase are produced by the host cells ribosomes.
6. The replicated viral RNA is transcribed to mRNA.
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H2 Genetics of Viruses & Bacteria

Which sequence of events correctly describes the reproductive cycle of the virus?

17

18

19

20

123654

126543

425163

412653

The synthesis of the amino acid tryptophan is E. coli is controlled by the trp operon. The
amino acid tryptophan combines with an inactive trp repressor protein to activate it. This trp
repressor protein binds to the operator controlling the expression of structural genes for the
production of tryptophan. What does this system ensure?
A

Cells are able to absorb tryptophan.

Tryptophan is constantly manufactured.

Tryptophan is manufactured only when levels are low.

Tryptophan inhibits translation at the ribosome.

Which statement CORRECTLY describes the control of transcription of the genes involved
in the breakdown of lactose in Escherichia coli?
A

A repressor protein binds to the operator and the genes are switched on.

A repressor protein binds to the operator and the genes are switched off.

A transcription factor binds to the promoter and the genes are switched on.

A transcription factor binds to the promoter and the genes are switched off.

Which drug would be most effective in treating viral infections?


A

One that competes with the virus for the same binding site on the host receptor.

One that induces the body to produce antibodies.

One that inhibits the action of viral ribosomes.

One that interferes with the synthesis of viral nucleic acids.

Regarding prokaryotic reproduction, which statement is correct?


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H2 Genetics of Viruses & Bacteria

Prokaryotes form gametes by meiosis.

Prokaryotes feature the fusion of haploid gametes, as do eukaryotes.

Prokaryotes exchange some of their genes by conjugation, the fusion of haploid


gametes, and transduction.

Mutation is a primary source of variation in prokaryote populations.

Structured Questions
1.

(a) Briefly describe the structural components of viruses. [1]

HIV enters blood cells via CCR5 receptor molecules in the cell surface membranes. Fig. 1.1
shows a CCR5 receptor, which is a protein.

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Fig.1.1
Source: Samson M, Libert F et al. Nature 382 (6593) p722 1996
(b) Using information from Fig. 1.1, describe the protein structure of the CCR5 receptor. [3]

(c) Some people carry a mutant form of a gene which results in a different form of the CCR5
receptor. Suggest how this may result in protection from HIV. [1]

(d) Four possible combinations for the binding of catabolite activator protein (CAP) and Lac
repressor are shown in Fig. 1.2.
For each of the four combinations, indicate on the left-hand side of Fig. 1.2 which sugar(s)
must be present (using + ) or absent (using - ), and on the right hand side whether the
operon is expected to be turned On or Off .

Fig.1.2
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H2 Genetics of Viruses & Bacteria

(e) Bacterial cells can take up the amino acid tryptophan from their surroundings. If the
external supply is insufficient, they can synthesize tryptophan from small molecules in the
cell. Tryptophan repressor inhibits transcription of the genes in trp operon. Upon binding
tryptophan, the tryptophan repressor binds to a site in the promoter of the operon.
Why is such tryptophan-dependent binding to the operon a useful property for tryptophan
repressor? How does it illustrate that the trp operon is a repressible system? [2]

(f) Fig. 1.3 shows how a trp-lac fusion operon is constructed.

Explain the condition(s) required for beta galactosidase to be expressed in bacteria cells that
have been transformed with the trp-lac fusion operon.[2]

[Total: 10]
2

(a)

In a study to examine the effectiveness of bacteriophages in treating colibacillosis, a fatal


disease caused by E. coli in poultry, broiler chickens were first subjected to an aerosol
spray containing bacteriophages on day 0. They were then separated into five treatment
groups. Each treatment group was subsequently injected with E. coli on days 0, 1, 2, 3
and 4 respectively. The mortality rate of each group was determined after 21 days. The
result of the study is represented by Fig. 2.1 below.
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H2 Genetics of Viruses & Bacteria

Fig. 2.1
Fig. 2.1
(i)

With reference to Fig. 2.1, compare the general trends observed in the control
groups and the groups that have been treated with bacteriophages. [3]

(ii) Discuss ways in which the farmer can make use of the results in Fig. 2.1 to treat
colibacillosis in his poultry. [2]

(bi)Suggest why the use of bacteriophages is a better possible alternative to antibiotic


therapy for the chickens. [1]

(b) (i)
A person infected with the H1N1 influenza virus does not develop the
symptoms. Physical examination shows that the persons immune system has
produced an antibody that binds to the haemagglutinin molecules. Suggest why the
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Revision Package
H2 Genetics of Viruses & Bacteria
person does not develop influenza-like symptoms. [2]

(ii) After a few days, the person begins to develop influenza symptoms. Tests for the
antibody mentioned in (b) (i) show that it is still present in the blood. Account for
this observation and comment on the implication of this observation for developing
a H1N1 influenza vaccine. [2]

[Total : 10]

Fig. 3.1 shows the percentage of regulatory sites spanning the indicated base positions in
operons found in E. coli.

Activator
binding
sites

Repressor
binding sites

% of regulatory
sites at indicated
positions in
different operons

Base position

Fig. 3.1
(a) With reference to Fig. 3.1,
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H2 Genetics of Viruses & Bacteria

(i) indicate using on the x-axis of the graph the base position of the promoter. [1]

(ii) outline the role of the repressor binding site in an operon. [1]

(iii) state and explain whether the structure of the lac operon conforms to the data shown.
[3]

[Total: 5]
4

Fig. 4.1 shows the structure of the human immunodeficiency virus, HIV.

Fig. 4.1
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H2 Genetics of Viruses & Bacteria

(a) Name the parts A to C. [3]


A: ____________________________
B: _____________________________
C: _____________________________

HIV instructs the T-lymphocytes to reproduce more viruses. During this process, the cell
replicates viral DNA and produces viral proteins, which will be used to make new viral
particles. These HIV particles will be released from the infected T-lymphocyte through
budding, so that more T-lymphocytes will be infected. Fig. 4.2 is an electron micrograph
showing the process of HIV particles leaving a T-lymphocyte.

Fig. 4.2
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H2 Genetics of Viruses & Bacteria

(b) Suggest why an infected T-lymphocyte that is producing HIV particles has a higher
demand for amino acids than an uninfected lymphocyte. [1]

(c) Describe how HIV acquires the outer envelope. [3]

(d) Upon the release of HIV from an infected T-lymphocyte, HIV protease completes the
maturation of the viruses by cutting viral polyproteins to form the HIV structural proteins
and enzymes of the infective virus.
HIV protease inhibitors may be used to treat HIV patients.HIV protease is composed of
two identical protein chains which forms a tunnel that wraps around the viral polyprotein
chains, closing and holding it while it is hydrolysed to form the hiv structural proteins and
enzymes.
Fig. 4.3 shows a molecular model of HIV protease with the protease inhibitor (shaded)
attached.

Fig. 4.3
(i) Explain how HIV protease inhibitors work in the treatment of HIV infection. [3]

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H2 Genetics of Viruses & Bacteria

(ii) Describe the structural properties of this inhibitor required for its action. [2]

[Total: 12]
5

In 1951, Joshua Lederberg and Norton Zinder were testing for genetic recombination in the
bacterium Salmonella typhimurium. The researchers used two different strains of bacteria: one
which only grew when supplied with tryptophan and tyrosine, and a second strain which only
grew when supplied with methionine and histidine. When either strain was plated on a minimal
medium, no wild-type cells were observed. However, after the two strains were mixed, wildtype cells appeared at a frequency of about 1 in 105.

(a) Explain how genetic recombination typically occurs in eukaryotes. [2]

(b) Describe three methods by which genetic recombination may occur in bacteria. [3]

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In a further U-tube experiment, the different strains of bacteria were placed in two arms of a Utube, separated by a filter that prevents cell contact. The result of this experiment shows that
recombinant strains could also be obtained. By varying the size of the pores in the filter, they
found that the agent responsible for recombination was about the size of the virus P22, a
known temperate phage of Salmonella.
(c) Explain what it means by temperate phage. [1]

(d) Outline the process by which a lytic bacteriophage leads to genetic recombination in
bacteria. [4]

[Total: 10]
Essays

(a)

Discuss whether viruses are living or non-living organisms and explain why viruses
are obligate parasites.
[9]

(b) Some bacteriophages have both a lysogenic and a lytic cycle. Suggest reasons why it
may be advantageous for a bacteriophage to have a lysogenic cycle.
[4]

(a)

Distinguish between the reproductive cycles of lambda phage and HIV.

[5]

(b) Explain how HIV infection causes diseases in humans.

[9]

(a)

[4]

Discuss the importance of operons in bacteria.

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