Locating and activating molecular 'time bombs': Induction of mycolata prophages

Zoe A. Dyson, Teagan L. Brown, Ben Farrar, Stephen R. Doyle, Joseph Tucci, Robert J. Seviour, Steve Petrovski

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Little is known about the prevalence, functionality and ecological roles of temperate phages for members of the mycolic acid producing bacteria, the Mycolata. While many lytic phages infective for these organisms have been isolated, and assessed for their suitability for use as biological control agents of activated sludge foaming, no studies have investigated how temperate phages might be induced for this purpose. Bioinformatic analysis using the PHAge Search Tool (PHAST) on Mycolata whole genome sequence data in GenBank for members of the genera Gordonia, Mycobacterium, Nocardia, Rhodococcus, and Tsukamurella revealed 83% contained putative prophage DNA sequences. Subsequent prophage inductions using mitomycin C were conducted on 17 Mycolata strains. This led to the isolation and genome characterization of three novel Caudovirales temperate phages, namely GAL1, GMA1, and TPA4, induced from Gordonia alkanivorans, Gordonia malaquae, and Tsukamurella paurometabola, respectively. All possessed highly distinctive dsDNA genome sequences.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0159957
Number of pages11
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes

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