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J Virol. 2014 Nov;88(22):13111-24. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01875-14. Epub 2014 Sep 3.

Molecular characterization of a novel temperate sinorhizobium bacteriophage, ФLM21, encoding DNA methyltransferase with CcrM-like specificity.

Author information

1
Department of Bacterial Genetics, Institute of Microbiology, Faculty of Biology, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland.
2
Department of Virology, Institute of Microbiology, Faculty of Biology, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland.
3
Department of Virology, Institute of Microbiology, Faculty of Biology, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland m.radlinska@biol.uw.edu.pl.

Abstract

ΦLM21 is a temperate phage isolated from Sinorhizobium sp. strain LM21 (Alphaproteobacteria). Genomic analysis and electron microscopy suggested that ΦLM21 is a member of the family Siphoviridae. The phage has an isometric head and a long noncontractile tail. The genome of ΦLM21 has 50,827 bp of linear double-stranded DNA encoding 72 putative proteins, including proteins responsible for the assembly of the phage particles, DNA packaging, transcription, replication, and lysis. Virion proteins were characterized using mass spectrometry, leading to the identification of the major capsid and tail components, tape measure, and a putative portal protein. We have confirmed the activity of two gene products, a lytic enzyme (a putative chitinase) and a DNA methyltransferase, sharing sequence specificity with the cell cycle-regulating methyltransferase (CcrM) of the bacterial host. Interestingly, the genome of Sinorhizobium phage ΦLM21 shows very limited similarity to other known phage genome sequences and is thus considered unique.

IMPORTANCE:

Prophages are known to play an important role in the genomic diversification of bacteria via horizontal gene transfer. The influence of prophages on pathogenic bacteria is very well documented. However, our knowledge of the overall impact of prophages on the survival of their lysogenic, nonpathogenic bacterial hosts is still limited. In particular, information on prophages of the agronomically important Sinorhizobium species is scarce. In this study, we describe the isolation and molecular characterization of a novel temperate bacteriophage, ΦLM21, of Sinorhizobium sp. LM21. Since we have not found any similar sequences, we propose that this bacteriophage is a novel species. We conducted a functional analysis of selected proteins. We have demonstrated that the phage DNA methyltransferase has the same sequence specificity as the cell cycle-regulating methyltransferase CcrM of its host. We point out that this phenomenon of mimicking the host regulatory mechanisms by viruses is quite common in bacteriophages.

PMID:
25187538
PMCID:
PMC4249059
DOI:
10.1128/JVI.01875-14
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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