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Mol Microbiol. 2019 Dec;112(6):1831-1846. doi: 10.1111/mmi.14396. Epub 2019 Oct 9.

The flagellotropic bacteriophage YSD1 targets Salmonella Typhi with a Chi-like protein tail fibre.

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Infection and Immunity Program, Department of Microbiology, Biomedicine Discovery Institute, Monash University, Clayton, 3800, Australia.
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambridge, CB10 1SA, UK.
Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Hills Road, Cambridge, UK.
Infection and Immunity Program, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Biomedicine Discovery Institute, Monash University, Clayton, 3800, Australia.
School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, 3800, Australia.
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, The Peter Doherty Institute, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, 3052, Australia.


The discovery of a Salmonella-targeting phage from the waterways of the United Kingdom provided an opportunity to address the mechanism by which Chi-like bacteriophage (phage) engages with bacterial flagellae. The long tail fibre seen on Chi-like phages has been proposed to assist the phage particle in docking to a host cell flagellum, but the identity of the protein that generates this fibre was unknown. We present the results from genome sequencing of this phage, YSD1, confirming its close relationship to the original Chi phage and suggesting candidate proteins to form the tail structure. Immunogold labelling in electron micrographs revealed that YSD1_22 forms the main shaft of the tail tube, while YSD1_25 forms the distal part contributing to the tail spike complex. The long curling tail fibre is formed by the protein YSD1_29, and treatment of phage with the antibodies that bind YSD1_29 inhibits phage infection of Salmonella. The host range for YSD1 across Salmonella serovars is broad, but not comprehensive, being limited by antigenic features of the flagellin subunits that make up the Salmonella flagellum, with which YSD1_29 engages to initiate infection.


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