Bacteriophages (phages) are estimated to be the most abundant and diverse entities in the biosphere harboring vast amounts of novel genetic information. Despite the genetic diversity observed, many phages share common features, such as virion morphology, genome size and organization, and can readily be associated with clearly defined phage groups. However, other phages display unique genomes or, alternatively, mosaic genomes composed of regions that share homology with those of phages of diverse origins; thus, their relationships cannot be easily assessed. In this work, we present a functional and comparative genomic analysis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa phage PaMx25, a virulent member of the Siphoviridae family. The genomes of PaMx25 and a highly homologous phage NP1, bore sequence homology and synteny with the genomes of phages that infect hosts different than Pseudomonas. In order to understand the relationship of the PaMx25 genome with that of other phages, we employed several computational approaches. We found that PaMx25 and NP1 effectively bridged several phage groups. It is expected that as more phage genomes become available, more gaps will be filled, blurring the boundaries that currently separate phage groups.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: May 2, 2017
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