A comparative study was made of a group ofPseudomonas aeruginosa virulent giant DNA bacteriophages similar to phage φKZ in several genetic and phenotypic properties (particle size, particle morphology, genome size, appearance of negative colonies, high productivity, broad spectrum of lytic activity, ability to overcome the suppressing effect of plasmids, absence of several DNA restriction sites, capability of general transduction, pseudolysogeny). We have recently sequenced the phage φKZ genome (288 334 bp) [J. Mol. Biol., 2002, vol. 317, pp. 1–19]. By DNA homology, the phages were assigned to three species (represented by phages φKZ, Lin68, and EL, respectively) and two new genera (φKZ and EL). Restriction enzyme analysis revealed the mosaic genome structure in four phages of the φKZ species (φKZ, Lin21, NN, and PTB80) and two phages of the EL species (EL and RU). Comparisons with respect to phage particle size, number of structural proteins, and the N-terminal sequences of the major capsid protein confirmed the phylogenetic relatedness of the phages belonging to the φKZ genus. The origin and evolution of the φKZ-like phages are discussed. Analysis of protein sequences encoded by the phage φKZ genome made it possible to assume wide migration of the φKZ-like phages (wandering phages) among various prokaryotes and possibly eukaryotes. Since the phage φKZ genome codes for potentially toxic proteins, caution must be exercised in the employment of large bacteriophages in phage therapy.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 13, 2004
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