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Microbiology. 2006 Jun;152(Pt 6):1701-8.

A generalized transducing phage (phiIF3) for the genomically sequenced Serratia marcescens strain Db11: a tool for functional genomics of an opportunistic human pathogen.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, Building O, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge CB2 1QW, UK.


A bacteriophage (phiIF3) capable of mediating generalized transduction in Serratia marcescens strain Db11 has been isolated and characterized. The genome of this Serratia strain has recently been sequenced and is likely to become the reference strain for S. marcescens researchers. phiIF3 is most likely a virulent phage, which can transduce markers at frequencies of 10(-6) transductants per p.f.u. It has a lipopolysaccharide receptor and was determined to have a latent period of 50 min and a burst size of approximately 100 phages. The phage DNA was resistant to digestion with restriction enzymes. Electron microscopy showed phiIF3 to be a member of the family Myoviridae. This is the first report of a generalized transducing phage able to infect Db11 and this phage will be a valuable tool for functional genomic analysis of the pathogen host.

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