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Microbes Environ. 2012;27(4):350-5. Epub 2012 Oct 5.

Cyanophage infection in the bloom-forming cyanobacteria Microcystis aeruginosa in surface freshwater.

Author information

1
Subsurface Geobiology Advanced Research Team, Extremobiosphere Research Program, Institute of Biogeosciences, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, 2–15 Natsushima-cho, Yokosuka, Kanagawa 237–0061, Japan.

Abstract

Host-like genes are often found in viral genomes. To date, multiple host-like genes involved in photosynthesis and the pentose phosphate pathway have been found in phages of marine cyanobacteria Synechococcus and Prochlorococcus. These gene products are predicted to redirect host metabolism to deoxynucleotide biosynthesis for phage replication while maintaining photosynthesis. A cyanophage, Ma-LMM01, infecting the toxic cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa, was isolated from a eutrophic freshwater lake and assigned as a member of a new lineage of the Myoviridae family. The genome encodes a host-like NblA. Cyanobacterial NblA is known to be involved in the degradation of the major light harvesting complex, the phycobilisomes. Ma-LMM01 nblA gene showed an early expression pattern and was highly transcribed during phage infection. We speculate that the co-option of nblA into Microcystis phages provides a significant fitness advantage to phages by preventing photoinhibition during infection and possibly represents an important part of the co-evolutionary interactions between cyanobacteria and their phages.

PMID:
23047146
PMCID:
PMC4103541
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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