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J Mol Evol. 1992 Feb;34(2):141-52.

Nucleotide sequence of the genome of the filamentous bacteriophage I2-2: module evolution of the filamentous phage genome.

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Department of Molecular Biology, University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


The nucleotide sequence of the circular single-stranded genome of the filamentous Escherichia coli phage I2-2 has been determined and compared with those of the filamentous E. coli phages Ff(M13, fl, or fd) and IKe. The I2-2 DNA sequence comprises 6744 nucleotides; 139 nucleotides less than that of the N- and I2-plasmid-specific phage IKe, and 337 (336) nucleotides more than that of the F-plasmid-specific phage Ff. Nucleotide sequence comparisons have indicated that I2-2, IKe, and Ff have a similar genetic organization, and that the genomes of I2-2 and IKe are evolutionarily more closely related than those of I2-2 and Ff. The studies have further demonstrated that the I2-2 genome is a composite replicon, composed of only two-thirds of the ancestral genome of IKe. Only a contiguous I2-2 DNA sequence of 4615 nucleotides encompassing not only the coat protein and phage assembly genes, but also the signal required for efficient phage morphogenesis, was found to be significantly homologous to sequences in the genomes of IKe and Ff. No homology was observed between the consecutive DNA sequence that contains the origins for viral and complementary strand replication and the replication genes. Although other explanations cannot be ruled out, our data strongly suggest that the ancestor filamentous phage genome of phages I2-2 and IKe has exchanged its replication module during evolution with that of another replicon, e.g., a plasmid that also replicates via the so-called rolling circle mechanism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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