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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2011 Feb;77(4):1389-98. doi: 10.1128/AEM.01938-10. Epub 2010 Dec 23.

Genome sequence and characterization of the Tsukamurella bacteriophage TPA2.

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  • 1Biotechnology Research Centre, La Trobe Institute for Molecular Sciences, La Trobe University, Bendigo, Victoria 3552, Australia.


The formation of stable foam in activated sludge plants is a global problem for which control is difficult. These foams are often stabilized by hydrophobic mycolic acid-synthesizing Actinobacteria, among which are Tsukamurella spp. This paper describes the isolation from activated sludge of the novel double-stranded DNA phage TPA2. This polyvalent Siphoviridae family phage is lytic for most Tsukamurella species. Whole-genome sequencing reveals that the TPA2 genome is circularly permuted (61,440 bp) and that 70% of its sequence is novel. We have identified 78 putative open reading frames, 95 pairs of inverted repeats, and 6 palindromes. The TPA2 genome has a modular gene structure that shares some similarity to those of Mycobacterium phages. A number of the genes display a mosaic architecture, suggesting that the TPA2 genome has evolved at least in part from genetic recombination events. The genome sequence reveals many novel genes that should inform any future discussion on Tsukamurella phage evolution.

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