describe the results presented in this work

From this study, the authors discovered that Hcp genes have an inhibition effect in the growth of ES114, a vibrio fischori strain. The study also discovers that regardless of the Hcp gene used, its presence is sufficient for T6SS mediated killing of ES114 when incubated together.


explain the significance of this paper.

This paper is significant since it provides detailed knowledge of symbiotic interactions of the bacterial strains and the inhibiting genes in the environment for symbiotic growth between two or more bacteria

Summarise your findings in the space provided. You MUST also append the worksheets from each tutorial to receive full marks for your work.

Succinctly summarize the flaws and/or omissions in the data presented in this paper.

The authors omitted to present data of symbiotic reactions that occurred days after the procedure. It is unlikely that all the reactions would only take place within 24 hours of the experiment procedure.

Draw a figure outlining a genetic screen/selection that could be used to address the question that your paper aims to answer. Include a figure legend.

Draw a figure outlining your proposed experiment using molecular techniques to address the question that your paper aims to. Include a figure legend.

Genetic sequencing procedure

Genetic sequencing procedure for gene mutations and sequences. It helps to segregate and relate genes of two strains of Vibrio fischeri

Succinctly summarize the potential flaws in experimental design from this paper. Explain how you would design an experiment to disprove the findings from this paper.

The experiment of this study utilized chemically manufactured vibrio fischeri strains. Additionally, all the interactions were observed in the laboratory. To prove or disprove the findings in this study, a study could utilise biological organisms of vibrio fischeri as samples, and expose the interactions with Hcp gene to natural environment and findings compared.

How to read a scientific paper II.

The figures provide necessary controls associated with research figures. The authors clearly explained each figure in their study.

Are there any potential flaws in the measurements made in this study? (How can you be certain that the data is accurate? Does it correctly reflect what the authors are trying to measure?)

One of the main potential flaws in the measurements made in the study is the confined nature of the observations that authors adopted. Results presented are largely biased on the author’s expectations. Collected data are limited to the symbiotic relationship that takes place within hours of subject’s interactions.

Are there any potential flaws in the methods/techniques? (Pay attention to the details – temperature, reaction conditions, timing, etc.)

From the study, it is evident that the timing of experiments lasted for just hours with 24 hours being the maximum. This means that the results analysed excluded any symbiotic relationship that occurred days after the subjects were measured. In conditions of symbiotic reactions between organisms, it is insufficient to attribute that the interaction would only occur within hours and thus it would have been prudent for the subjects to be observed for days to monitor the reactions with each other.

The authors cited the works of Speare et al. (2018) to have some contradictions to some of the findings of this study.

Briefly describe the question that your assigned paper aims to answer.

The paper aims to describe the role of Hcp genes in limiting the symbiotic relationship of the vibrio fischeri strains.

Describe the basis for a genetic screen or selection that could be used to answer this question.

Vibrio fischeri organism largely survives through symbiotic interactions with other organisms in the habitat. This makes it a vital subject of study in the experiment.

Draw a figure outlining the genetic screen/selection.

Draw a figure outlining

Briefly describe the question that your assigned paper aims to answer.

The paper aims to answer the following question: what is the role of Hcp gene in symbiotic relationships of vibrio fischeri strains?

How could you use molecular techniques (next-generation sequencing, CRISPR, etc.) to address this question?

Molecular techniques have been attributed to effectiveness in gene sequencing and could be useful in developing mutants or strains of the vibrio fischeri organism.

Draw a figure outlining your proposed experiment. Include any necessary controls.

Draw a figure outlining

Analyze the data from your assigned paper.

Are there any potential experimental flaws? How might media conditions, strain genotype, or other experimental conditions affect the observed experimental results?

There is potential flaw in this experiment that has the ability to affect the results. This experiment is purely laboratory based with media, and temperature condition being significantly different from the environmental conditions. The samples were also manufactured in the lab and it is highly likely that the results would be different if conducted in the real environment

How might the authors be misinterpreting or overinterpreting their results?

The authors interpreted results collected within hours of the experimental procedures. Thus, symbiotic interactions or inhibition that occurred days or weeks after the procedure were not included. This time limit definitely affected the results presented in this study.

The authors could observe the interaction of subjects for days or a week after each procedure. This would allow them time to clearly understand the reactions that occurred and even map the patterns of the interactions in respect to time.

Yes. An experiment can be conducted in two ways; by following the procedures of the authors but increasing the time for observing the reactions from hours to days or a week or by using the live organisms as samples if the study and observing the interactions between live subjects.

Yes. The journal is well structured with key elements of the journal being covered. The authors also presented relevant scholarly works in line with their discussions and findings.

This research is important since it gives in depth insight into the symbiotic interactions occurring among organisms and the competitions for resources with two strains of an organism competing to eliminate each other.

Giving reasons, is the abstract well written? Why?

Yes. The abstract possess all the eculiar features. It offers a background of the topic, the rationale for the study and presents the summary of main findings of the study.

The introduction is well written. It presents the general information of symbiosis interactions and narrows down to the vibrio fischeri strains used in the study.

This study is based on the hypothesis that Hcp genes have ability to inhibit symbiosis of strains of vibrio fischeri organism.

Looking at the materials and methods, I believe the work can be repeated provided the necessary materials are available. However, some procedural aspects such as the concentration of strain used in the studies are not covered and may result in different results.

No. The authors describe the results adequately and elaborate each result’s figure. However, the objective and conclusion not clearly presented and the reader has the task of deducing the conckusion.

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Yes. The results are structured and well-presented allowing for methodical understanding of the findings,

Explain what the authors of the paper were trying to discover/understand

The authors were trying to understand the symbiotic relationships between vibro fischeri strains and the role of Hcp gene in the relationship

Explain how they addressed the problem (What experimental approaches were used?) and what research questions they asked?

The authors conducted laboratory examination to address the problem. This was premised on the following questions: does the T6SS gene feature Hcp gene? How is the establishment of FQ-0001? Other questions are what are impacts of hcp gene on interactions between FQ-001 and T6SS? And what is the sufficiency of the hcp gene for T6SS mediated killing?

Explain the results they obtained (this may require you to do background reading to understand some of the techniques they used

The study found out that two strains of Vibrio fischeri ES114 and FQ-A001 failed to coexist due to the presence of T6SS present in the FQ-A001 strain. The T6SS gene contains the hcp gene which is attributed to the incompatibility. In incubation, the T6SS has been responsible for killing the ES114 strain therefore reducing its number in a symbiotic simulation. Squid colonization assay is one of the methods that have been used to arrive at this result.

Critically assess the work – were the experimental data interpreted correctly? Were the methods used suitable? What other methods could be used?

The authors interpreted the data and presented it in figures and graphs. The data interpreted is correctly presented. However, from the methods that were used, the data interpreted was largely limited to time and therefore, it would be prudent if the study would have allowed more time for observing the interactions. Molecular techniques such as polymerisation and genome sequencing would be helpful

Explain the broader significance of the work…i.e. how does this fit in to the bigger picture? Did they achieve the aims?

The study is significant since it sheds more light on the symbiotic interactions between strains of the same organism and the role of genetics competitions occurring during the symbiotic relationship. The authors achieved the aims of their study.


Speare L, Cecere AG, Guckes KR, Smith S, Wollenberg MS, Mandel MJ, Miyashiro T, Septer AN. 2018. Bacterial symbionts use a type VI secretion system to eliminate competitors in their natural host. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 115:E8528 –E8537.

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