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Mol Microbiol. 1993 Feb;7(3):395-405.

DNA sequence, structure and gene expression of mycobacteriophage L5: a phage system for mycobacterial genetics.

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Department of Biological Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260.


Genetic studies of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and other mycobacterial pathogens have suffered from the lack of a sophisticated genetic system. To address this issue we have developed a viral system through a detailed characterization of mycobacteriophage L5, a temperate phage that infects both fast- and slow-growing mycobacteria. We describe here the complete DNA sequence of the L5 genome and initial characterization of L5 virion structure and gene expression. In addition to providing a genetic 'tool-box' for the mycobacteria we find that L5 offers a new paradigm for dsDNA phages, being phenotypically temperate but employing genetic strategies for phage growth usually associated with lytic bacteriophages.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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