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Environ Microbiol. 2019 Jun;21(6):2112-2128. doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.14590. Epub 2019 Apr 4.

Riding the wave of genomics to investigate aquatic coliphage diversity and activity.

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School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick, Gibbet Hill Road, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK.
Department of Genetics and Genome Biology, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK.


Bacteriophages infecting Escherichia coli (coliphages) have been used as a proxy for faecal matter and water quality from a variety of environments. However, the diversity of coliphages that is present in seawater remains largely unknown, with previous studies largely focusing on morphological diversity. Here, we isolated and characterized coliphages from three coastal locations in the United Kingdom and Poland. Comparative genomics and phylogenetic analysis of phage isolates facilitated the identification of putative new species within the genera Rb69virus and T5virus and a putative new genus within the subfamily Tunavirinae. Furthermore, genomic and proteomic analysis combined with host range analysis allowed the identification of a putative tail fibre that is likely responsible for the observed differences in host range of phages vB_Eco_mar003J3 and vB_Eco_mar004NP2.

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