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Virology. 1999 Sep 15;262(1):104-13.

Isolation and characterization of APSE-1, a bacteriophage infecting the secondary endosymbiont of Acyrthosiphon pisum.

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Department of Virology, DLO Research Institute for Plant Protection (IPO-DLO), Wageningen, 6700 GW, The Netherlands. F.vanderWilk@IPO.DLO.NL


A bacteriophage infecting the secondary endosymbiont of the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum was isolated and characterized. The phage was tentatively named bacteriophage APSE-1, for bacteriophage 1 of the A. pisum secondary endosymbiont. The APSE-1 phage particles morphologically resembled those of species of the Podoviridae. The complete nucleotide sequence of the bacteriophage APSE-1 genome was elucidated, and its genomic organization was deduced. The genome consists of a circularly permuted and terminally redundant double-stranded DNA molecule of 36524 bp. Fifty-four open reading frames, putatively encoding proteins with molecular masses of more than 8 kDa, were distinguished. ORF24 was identified as the gene coding for the major head protein by N-terminal amino acid sequencing of the protein. Comparison of APSE-1 sequences with bacteriophage-derived sequences present in databases revealed the putative function of 24 products, including the lysis proteins, scaffolding protein, transfer proteins, and DNA polymerase. This is the first report of a phage infecting an endosymbiont of an arthropod.

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