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Res Microbiol. 2009 Mar;160(2):166-71. doi: 10.1016/j.resmic.2008.12.005. Epub 2009 Jan 3.

Genomic and proteomic characterization of a thermophilic Geobacillus bacteriophage GBSV1.

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Institute of Plant Virology and College of Food Science, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou, PR China.


Phages are present wherever life is found, and play roles in many biogeochemical and ecological processes. The thermophilic bacteriophages, however, have not been well studied. In this study, phage GBSV1 was obtained from a thermophilic bacterium Geobacillus sp. 6k51 isolated from a hot spring. GBSV1 contains a double-stranded linear DNA of 34,683bp, which encodes 54 putative open reading frames (ORFs). Thirty three of these 54 ORFs exhibit sequence similarities to genes from 7 species of Geobacillus or Bacillus bacteria, as well as of bacteriophages infecting these bacteria. Twenty-two ORFs have been functionally annotated based on both their sequence similarities to known genes and predicted Pfam protein domains. Five structural proteins of the purified GBSV1 virion have been identified by proteomic analyses. Surprisingly, 7 of the GBSV1 ORFs share sequence similarities with genes from bacteria relevant to human diseases. This is the first report that genes of human disease-inducing bacteria are found in a thermophilic phage. It is suggested that thermophilic phages may be the potential evolutionary link between thermophiles and human pathogens. The characterization of GBSV1 may possibly lead to new insights into virus-host interactions and to a better understanding of gene transfers and evolution of life on earth in general.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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