To date, most members of the Siphoviridae family of bacteriophages remain unclassified, including the 46 staphylococcal phages for which the complete genome sequences have been deposited in public databases. Comparative nucleotide and protein sequence analysis, in addition to available data on phage morphology, allowed us to propose three new phage genera within the family Siphoviridae : “3alikevirus”, “77likevirus” and “Phietalikevirus”, which include related phages infecting Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis . However, six phages infecting S. aureus , Staphylococcus pasteuri , Staphylococcus hominis and Staphylococcus capitis strains remain to be classified (orphan phages). Overall, the former phages share morphological features and genome organization. The three groups have conserved domains containing peptidoglycan hydrolytic activities clearly identified as part of tape measure proteins (“3alikevirus” and “77likevirus”) or as individual virion-associated proteins (“Phietalikevirus”). In addition, bacteriophages belonging to the genus “3alikevirus” share closely related DNA-processing and packaging proteins, while bacteriophages included in the genus “Phietalikevirus” encode specific tail proteins for host interaction. These properties are considered distinctive for these genera. Orphan phages seem to have a more divergent organization, but they share some properties with members of these proposed genera.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 1, 2014
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