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J Bacteriol. 2008 Sep;190(17):5753-65. doi: 10.1128/JB.00461-08. Epub 2008 Jun 20.

The terminally redundant, nonpermuted genome of Listeria bacteriophage A511: a model for the SPO1-like myoviruses of gram-positive bacteria.

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1
Institute of Food Science and Nutrition, ETH Zurich, Schmelzbergstrasse 7, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland.

Abstract

Only little information on a particular class of myoviruses, the SPO1-like bacteriophages infecting low-G+C-content, gram-positive host bacteria (Firmicutes), is available. We present the genome analysis and molecular characterization of the large, virulent, broad-host-range Listeria phage A511. A511 contains a unit (informational) genome of 134,494 bp, encompassing 190 putative open reading frames (ORFs) and 16 tRNA genes, organized in a modular fashion common among the Caudovirales. Electron microscopy, enzymatic fragmentation analyses, and sequencing revealed that the A511 DNA molecule contains linear terminal repeats of a total of 3,125 bp, encompassing nine small putative ORFs. This particular genome structure explains why A511 is unable to perform general transduction. A511 features significant sequence homologies to Listeria phage P100 and other morphologically related phages infecting Firmicutes such as Staphylococcus phage K and Lactobacillus phage LP65. Equivalent but more-extensive terminal repeats also exist in phages P100 (approximately 6 kb) and K (approximately 20 kb). High-resolution electron microscopy revealed, for the first time, the presence of long tail fibers organized in a sixfold symmetry in these viruses. Mass spectrometry-based peptide fingerprinting permitted assignment of individual proteins to A511 structural components. On the basis of the data available for A511 and relatives, we propose that SPO1-like myoviruses are characterized by (i) their infection of gram-positive, low-G+C-content bacteria; (ii) a wide host range within the host bacterial genus and a strictly virulent lifestyle; (iii) similar morphology, sequence relatedness, and collinearity of the phage genome organization; and (iv) large double-stranded DNA genomes featuring nonpermuted terminal repeats of various sizes.

PMID:
18567664
PMCID:
PMC2519532
DOI:
10.1128/JB.00461-08
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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