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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2003 Feb 28;219(2):275-83.

Complete nucleotide sequence and molecular characterization of two lytic Staphylococcus aureus phages: 44AHJD and P68.

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Institute of Microbiology and Genetics, Vienna Biocenter, Dr. Bohr-Gasse 9, A-1030, Vienna, Austria.


The first complete nucleotide sequences of two lytic Staphylococcus aureus double stranded DNA phages, 44AHJD (16784 bp) and P68 (18227 bp), are reported. Both are small isometric phages, with short, non-contractile tails and a pre-neck appendage. Based on their morphology, their genome size, the similarity of the encoded gene products, the type of infection and on the possession of a type B DNA polymerase, 44AHJD and P68 are allocated to the order Caudovirales, family Podoviridae, genus 'phi29-like phages'. The genome of 44AHJD differs from that of P68 by a deletion spanning nucleotides 10091 to 11531 of the P68 genome. The electrophoretic analysis of the terminal DNA fragments of P68 DNA and P68 DNA protein complex suggested the presence of a terminal protein at either DNA end. In contrast to the lysis cassette of the phi29-like phages, which is located at the end of the late operon, the lysis cassette of 44AHJD and P68 is located within the structural genes.

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