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Virology. 2003 Oct 10;315(1):184-94.

Biology of the temperate Streptococcus thermophilus bacteriophage TP-J34 and physical characterization of the phage genome.

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Institute for Microbiology, Federal Dairy Research Centre, P.O. Box 6069, D-24121 Kiel, Germany.


The temperate Streptococcus thermophilus bacteriophage TP-J34 was identified in the lysogenic host strain J34. The majority of phage particles produced upon induction was defective and noninfectious, consisting of DNA-filled heads lacking tails. A physical map (45.6 kb) was established. Analysis of minor restriction bands of the DNA isolated from phage particles as well as the analysis of the protein pattern indicated that phage TP-J34 is a pac-type phage. This was confirmed by immunoelectron microscopy using antisera raised against virulent cos- and pac-type S. thermophilus phages. The lysogenic host J34 but not its noninducible derivate J34-12 contained phage DNA in the nonintegrated state and exhibited autolysis at elevated temperatures. Prophage-carrying strains grew homogeneously while 16 of 20 prophage-cured derivatives aggregated and sedimented rapidly. When phage TP-J34 was propagated lytically on a prophage-cured host strain, a 2.7-kb site-specific deletion occurred in the phage genome. This deletion was also identified in the prophage DNAs of relysogenized strains.

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