Arch Virol (1998) 143: 523–536
Genome diversity in temperate bacteriophages of Oenococcus oeni
, C. São-José
, G. Vieira
,and M. A. Santos
Departamento de Biologia Vegetal, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa,
Centro de Genética e Biologia Molecular, UL, Lisboa, Portugal
Instituto de Tecnologia Qu
ımica e Biológica, UNL, Oeiras, Portugal
Accepted October 15, 1997
Summary. The genome structure of six bacteriophages of Oenococcus oeni was
compared. Two distinct groups with no apparent restriction site conservation were
deﬁned. In members of the ␣ group (fOgML34, fOg4029, fOg30 and fOg218) a
7.5 kbregioncontaining the origin of DNA packaging (cos) was highly conserved.
Stretches of DNA heterogeneity could also be assigned to particular regions and
were mostly evident in the right area of the genomes. fOg44 and fOgPSU1 (␤
group) were indistinguishable in the left half of their genomes, including cos,
but were markedly dissimilar in other regions. Strong labelling signals detected
in cross-hybridizations involving members of different groups were conﬁned to
fragments centrally located in their physical maps. The attachment site (attP)
of fOg44 was assigned to this conserved region. It is suggested that recombina-
tion events at this location may have been important in generating the observed
diversity of oenophage genomes.
Bacteriophage attack in bacterial fermentations has always been a major source
of economic losses, particularly in the dairy industry. Research on phages and
phage-host interactions in lactic acid bacteria (LAB) has thus developed with the
ultimate goal of preventing phage-induced lysis of starter strains. Along with the
identiﬁcation of natural host defense mechanisms and the construction of strains
harbouring multiple pathways for phage resistance , some attention has also
been given to temperate phages and to the genetic elements required for prophage
integration in the host genome (e.g. [6, 10, 14, 15]).
Present address: Institut Jacques Monod, France.