Genome of staphylococcal phage K: a new lineage of Myoviridae infecting gram-positive bacteria with a low G+C content.


Phage K is a polyvalent phage of the Myoviridae family which is active against a wide range of staphylococci. Phage genome sequencing revealed a linear DNA genome of 127,395 bp, which carries 118 putative open reading frames. The genome is organized in a modular form, encoding modules for lysis, structural proteins, DNA replication, and transcription. Interestingly, the structural module shows high homology to the structural module from Listeria phage A511, suggesting intergenus horizontal transfer. In addition, phage K exhibits the potential to encode proteins necessary for its own replisome, including DNA ligase, primase, helicase, polymerase, RNase H, and DNA binding proteins. Phage K has a complete absence of GATC sites, making it insensitive to restriction enzymes which cleave this sequence. Three introns (lys-I1, pol-I2, and pol-I3) encoding putative endonucleases were located in the genome. Two of these (pol-I2 and pol-I3) were found to interrupt the DNA polymerase gene, while the other (lys-I1) interrupts the lysin gene. Two of the introns encode putative proteins with homology to HNH endonucleases, whereas the other encodes a 270-amino-acid protein which contains two zinc fingers (CX(2)CX(22)CX(2)C and CX(2)CX(23)CX(2)C). The availability of the genome of this highly virulent phage, which is active against infective staphylococci, should provide new insights into the biology and evolution of large broad-spectrum polyvalent phages.

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@article{OFlaherty2004GenomeOS, title={Genome of staphylococcal phage K: a new lineage of Myoviridae infecting gram-positive bacteria with a low G+C content.}, author={Sarah O'Flaherty and Aidan Coffey and Robert A. Edwards and William J. Meaney and G. F. Fitzgerald and R . P . Ross}, journal={Journal of bacteriology}, year={2004}, volume={186 9}, pages={2862-71} }