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Arch Virol. 2006 May;151(5):947-65. Epub 2005 Nov 17.

The genome of the virulent phage Lc-Nu of probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus, and comparative genomics with Lactobacillus casei phages.

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Department of Biology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.


The complete 36,466-bp genome sequence of the virulent phage Lc-Nu of probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus was determined. The linear dsDNA with a GC-content of 44.2% contained 3' single-stranded cohesive ends of 12 nucleotides. A total of 51 putative open reading frames (orfs) were predicted. Lc-Nu showed to be evolutionary closely related to the temperate Lactobacillus casei phages phi AT3 and A2. High DNA homology with phi AT3 was shared over the late transcribed genes, and the highest homology with A2 was within the genetic switch region. The truncated cI-like repressor was the only lysogeny related gene left, which strongly suggested Lc-Nu to be recently evolved from a temperate origin. Three putative methylases and endonucleases were detected from the region of early-transcribed genes. The putative origin of replication within the putative gene orf34 homologous to replisome organizers resembled to that of lambdoid phages. The present study suggested Lc-Nu to be a new candidate for the proposed Sfi21-like species.

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