Archives of Virology

, Volume 140, Issue 10, pp 1871–1884 | Cite as

Relationships of tailed phages: a survey of protein sequence identity

  • H. -W. Ackermann
  • A. Elzanowski
  • G. Fobo
  • G. Stewart
Virology Division News


Using a multiple alignment program, we surveyed about 150 proteins from 35 tailed phages and calculated identity percentages. Sequence similarities are generally weak, indicating an extensive diversification of tailed phages. Related proteins occur in phages of different morphology and host range. DNA and RNA polymerases, integrases, muramidases, and several other tailed phage proteins appear to be acquired from bacteria. Tailed phages seem to be a monophyletic group and to constitute a polythetic order. Proteins common to all tailed phages may be detected by comparing the three-dimensional structure of major head and tail proteins. Amino acid alignments have presently no impact on the definition of high-level taxa of tailed phages.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. -W. Ackermann
    • 1
  • A. Elzanowski
    • 2
  • G. Fobo
    • 3
  • G. Stewart
    • 4
  1. 1.Felix d'Hérelle Reference Center for Bacterial Viruses, Department of Microbiology, Faculty of MedicineLaval UniversitySainte-FoyCanada
  2. 2.National Center for Biotechnology InformationNational Library of Medicine/NIHBethesdaUSA
  3. 3.Max-Planck-Institut für BiochemieMartinsried b. MünchenGermany
  4. 4.STELA Research Center, Faculty of AgricultureLaval UniversitySainte-FoyCanada

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