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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2006 Jun;72(6):4338-46.

Biodiversity and classification of lactococcal phages.

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  • 1Groupe de Recherche en Ecologie Buccale (GREB), Faculté de Médecine Dentaire, Université Laval, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada G1K 7P4.


For this study, an in-depth review of the classification of Lactococcus lactis phages was performed. Reference phages as well as unclassified phages from international collections were analyzed by stringent DNA-DNA hybridization studies, electron microscopy observations, and sequence analyses. A new classification scheme for lactococcal phages is proposed that reduces the current 12 groups to 8. However, two new phages (Q54 and 1706), which are unrelated to known lactococcal phages, may belong to new emerging groups. The multiplex PCR method currently used for the rapid identification of phages from the three main lactococcal groups (936, c2, and P335) was improved and tested against the other groups, none of which gave a PCR product, confirming the specificity of this detection tool. However, this method does not detect all members of the highly diverse P335 group. The lactococcal phages characterized here were deposited in the Félix d'Hérelle Reference Center for Bacterial Viruses and represent a highly diverse viral community from the dairy environment.

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