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Arch Virol. 2014 Jun;159(6):1541-54. doi: 10.1007/s00705-013-1970-6. Epub 2014 Jan 7.

Gammasphaerolipovirus, a newly proposed bacteriophage genus, unifies viruses of halophilic archaea and thermophilic bacteria within the novel family Sphaerolipoviridae.

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Department of Biological and Environmental Science and Nanoscience Center, University of Jyväskylä, 40014, Jyväskylä, Finland.


A new family of viruses named Sphaerolipoviridae has been proposed recently. It comprises icosahedral, tailless haloarchaeal viruses with an internal lipid membrane located between the protein capsid and the dsDNA genome. The proposed family Sphaerolipoviridae was divided into two genera: Alphasphaerolipovirus, including Haloarcula hispanica viruses SH1, PH1 and HHIV-2, and Betasphaerolipovirus, including Natrinema virus SNJ1. Here, we propose to expand the family Sphaerolipoviridae to include a group of bacteriophages infecting extreme thermophilic Thermus thermophilus and sharing a number of structural and genomic properties with archaeal sphaerolipoviruses. This new group comprises two members, lytic phage P23-77 and temperate phage IN93, as well as putative members P23-72 and P23-65H. In addition, several related proviruses have been discovered as integrated elements in bacterial genomes of the families Thermus and Meiothermus. Morphology of the virus particles and the overall capsid architecture of these bacteriophages resembles that of archaeal members of the Sphaerolipoviridae, including an unusual capsid arrangement in a T = 28 dextro lattice. Alpha- and betasphaerolipoviruses share with P23-77-like bacteriophages a conserved block of core genes that encode a putative genome-packaging ATPase and the two major capsid proteins (MCPs). The recently determined X-ray structure of the small and large MCPs of P23-77 revealed a single beta-barrel (jelly-roll) fold that is superimposable with the cryo-EM density maps of the SH1 capsomers. Given the common features of these viruses, we propose to include the so far unclassified P23-77-like bacteriophages into a new genus, "Gammasphaerolipovirus", within the family Sphaerolipoviridae.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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