, Volume 7, Issue 5, pp 377–384 | Cite as

Isolation and characterization of marine psychrophilic phage-host systems from Arctic sea ice

  • Michael Borriss
  • Elisabeth Helmke
  • Renate Hanschke
  • Thomas SchwederEmail author
Original Paper


Phage-host systems from extreme cold environments have rarely been surveyed. This study is concerned with the isolation and characterization of three different phage-host systems from Arctic sea ice and melt pond samples collected north-west of Svalbard (Arctic). On the basis of 16S rDNA sequences, the three bacterial phage hosts exhibited the greatest similarity to the species Shewanella frigidimarina (96.0%), Flavobacterium hibernum (94.0%), and Colwellia psychrerythraea (98.4%), respectively. The host bacteria are psychrophilic with good growth at 0°C, resulting in a rapid formation of visible colonies at this temperature. The phages showed an even more pronounced adaptation to cold temperatures than the bacteria, with growth maxima below 14°C and good plaque formation at 0°C. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) examinations revealed that the bacteriophages belonged to the tailed, double-stranded DNA phage families Siphoviridae and Myoviridae. All three phages were host-specific.


Marine bacteria Phages Psychrophilic Sea ice 



This work was supported by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (03F0278B).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Borriss
    • 1
  • Elisabeth Helmke
    • 2
  • Renate Hanschke
    • 3
  • Thomas Schweder
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Institut für Marine BiotechnologieGreifswaldGermany
  2. 2.Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und MeeresforschungBremerhavenGermany
  3. 3.Institut für MikrobiologieErnst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität GreifswaldGreifswaldGermany

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