Supersize me: Cronobacter sakazakii phage GAP32.

Abbasifar, R., Griffiths, M.W., Sabour, P.M., Ackermann, H.-W., Vandersteegen, K., Lavigne, R., Noben, J.-P., Alanis Villa, A., Abbasifar, A., Nash, J.H.E., and Kropinski, A.M. (2014). "Supersize me: Cronobacter sakazakii phage GAP32.", Virology, 460-461(1), pp. 138-146. doi : 10.1016/j.virol.2014.05.003  Access to full text

Abstract

Cronobacter sakazakii is a Gram-negative pathogen found in milk-based formulae that causes infant meningitis. Bacteriophages have been proposed to control bacterial pathogens; however, comprehensive knowledge about a phage is required to ensure its safety before clinical application. We have characterized C. sakazakii phage vB_CsaM_GAP32 (GAP32), which possesses the second largest sequenced phage genome (358,663 bp). A total of 571 genes including 545 protein coding sequences and 26 tRNAs were identified, thus more genes than in the smallest bacterium, Mycoplasma genitalium G37. BLASTP and HHpred searches, together with proteomic analyses reveal that only 23.9% of the putative proteins have defined functions. Some of the unique features of this phage include: a chromosome condensation protein, two copies of the large subunit terminase, a predicted signal-arrest-release lysin; and an RpoD-like protein, which is possibly involved in the switch from immediate early to delayed early transcription. Its closest relatives are all extremely large myoviruses, namely coliphage PBECO4 and Klebsiella phage vB_KleM-RaK2, with whom it shares approximately 44% homologous proteins. Since the homologs are not evenly distributed, we propose that these three phages belong to a new subfamily.

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