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Environ Microbiol. 2009 Aug;11(8):2055-64. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-2920.2009.01927.x.

Genome sequences of two novel phages infecting marine roseobacters.

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Center of Marine Biotechnology, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, Baltimore, MD 21202, USA.


Two bacteriophages, DSS3Phi2 and EE36Phi1, which infect marine roseobacters Silicibacter pomeroyi DSS-3 and Sulfitobacter sp. EE-36, respectively, were isolated from Baltimore Inner Harbor water. These two roseophages resemble bacteriophage N4, a large, short-tailed phage infecting Escherichia coli K12, in terms of their morphology and genomic structure. The full genome sequences of DSS3Phi2 and EE36Phi1 reveal that their genome sizes are 74.6 and 73.3 kb, respectively, and they both contain a highly conserved N4-like DNA replication and transcription system. Both roseophages contain a large virion-encapsidated RNA polymerase gene (> 10 kb), which was first discovered in N4. DSS3Phi2 and EE36Phi1 also possess several genes (i.e. ribonucleotide reductase and thioredoxin) that are most similar to the genes in roseobacters. Overall, the two roseophages are highly closely related, and share 80-94% nucleotide sequence identity over 85% of their ORFs. This is the first report of N4-like phages infecting marine bacteria and the second report of N4-like phage since the discovery of phage N4 40 years ago. The finding of these two N4-like roseophages will allow us to further explore the specific phage-host interaction and evolution for this unique group of bacteriophages.

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