Original Article

Archives of Virology

, Volume 157, Issue 5, pp 917-926

Characterization of a new phage, termed ϕA318, which is specific for Vibrio alginolyticus

  • Ying-Rong LinAffiliated withDepartment of Marine Biotechnology and Resources, Asia-Pacific Ocean Research Center, National Sun Yat-sen University
  • , Chi-Wen ChiuAffiliated withDepartment of Marine Biotechnology and Resources, Asia-Pacific Ocean Research Center, National Sun Yat-sen University
  • , Feng-Yi ChangAffiliated withDepartment of Marine Biotechnology and Resources, Asia-Pacific Ocean Research Center, National Sun Yat-sen University
  • , Chan-Shing LinAffiliated withDepartment of Marine Biotechnology and Resources, Asia-Pacific Ocean Research Center, National Sun Yat-sen University Email author 

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Abstract

Vibrio alginolyticus is an opportunistic pathogen of animals and humans; its related strains can also produce tetrodotoxin and hemolysins. A new phage, ϕA318, which lysed its host V. alginolyticus with high efficiency, was characterized. The burst size of ϕA318 in V. alginolyticus was 72 PFU/bacterium at an MOI of 1 at room temperature; the plaque size was as large as 5 mm in diameter. Electron microscopy (EM) of the phage particles revealed a 50- to 55-nm isomorphous icosahedral head with a 12-nm non-contractile tail, similar to the T7-like phages of the family Podoviridae. Phylogenetic analysis based on complete sequences of the DNA-directed RNA polymerase gene revealed that ϕA318 had 28-47% amino acid identity to enterobacteria phages T7 and SP6, and other Vibrio phages, and the phylogenetic distance suggested that ϕA318 could be classified as a new T7-like bacteriophage. Nevertheless, several motifs in the ϕA318 phage RNA polymerase were highly conserved, including DFRGR (T7-421 motif), DG (T7-537 motif), PSEKPQDIYGAVS (T7-563 motif), RSMTKKPVMTL PYGS (T7-627 motif), and HDS (T7-811 motif). Genetic analysis indicated that phage ϕA318 is not a thermostable direct hemolysin producer. The results suggest that the MOI should be higher than 0.1 to prevent the chance of hemolysin production by the bacteria before they are lysed by the phage.