Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is an increasing cause of serious infection, both in the community and hospital settings. Despite sophisticated strategies and efforts, the antibiotic options for treating MRSA infection are narrowing because of the limited number of newly developed antimicrobials. Here, four newly-isolated MRSA-virulent phages, IME-SA1, IMESA2, IME-SA118 and IME-SA119, were sequenced and analyzed. Their genome termini were identified using our previously proposed "termini analysis theory". We provide evidence that remarkable conserved terminus sequences are found in IME-SA1/2/118/119, and, moreover, are widespread throughout Twortlikevirus Staphylococcus phage G1 and K species. Results also suggested that each phage of the two species has conserved 5′ terminus while the 3′ terminus is variable. More importantly, a variable region with a specific pattern was found to be present near the conserved terminus of Twortlikevirus S. phage G1 species. The clone with the longest variable region had variable terminus lengths in successive generations, while the clones with the shortest variable region and with the average length variable region maintained the same terminal length as themselves during successive generations. IME-SA1 bacterial infection experiments showed that the variation is not derived from adaptation of the phage to different host strains. This is the first study of the conserved terminus and variable region of Twortlikevirus S. phages.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Adams MH. 1959. In: Bacteriophages. New York (& London): Inter-science Publishers.
Aziz RK, Bartels D, Best AA, DeJongh M, Disz T, Edwards RA, Formsma K, Gerdes S, Glass EM, Kubal M, et al. 2008. The RAST Server: rapid annotations using subsystems technology. BMC Genomics, 9: 75.
Bachrach U, Friedmann A. 1971. Practical procedures for the purification of bacterial viruses. Appl Microbiol, 22: 706–715.
Brettin T, Davis JJ, Disz T, Edwards RA, Gerdes S, Olsen GJ, Olson R, Overbeek R, Parrello B, Pusch GD, et al. 2015. RASTtk: a modular and extensible implementation of The RAST algorithm for building custom annotation pipelines and annotating batches of genomes. Sci Rep, 5: 8365.
Carlson K. 2005. Appendix: working with bacteriophages: common techniques and methodological approaches. Bacteriophages: biology and applications: 437–494.
Fujisawa H, Morita M. 1997. Phage DNA packaging. Genes Cells, 2: 537–545.
Green MR, Sambrook J. 2012. In: Molecular cloning: a laboratory manual. New York: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.
International Commitee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV). 2014. Availale: http://www.ictvonline.org/virustaxonomy.asp.
Kaur S, Harjai K, Chhibber S. 2012. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus phage plaque size enhancement using sublethal concentrations of antibiotics. Appl Environ Microbiol, 78: 8227–8233.
Łobocka M, Hejnowicz MS, Dąbrowski K, Gozdek A, Kosakowski J, Witkowska M, Ulatowska MI, Weber-Dąbrowska B, Kwiatek M, Parasion S. 2012. Genomics of staphylococcal Twort-like phages—potential therapeutics of the post-antibiotic era. Adv Virus Res, 83: 143–216.
Méric G, Miragaia M, de Been M, Yahara K, Pascoe B, Mageiros L, Mikhail J, Harris LG, Wilkinson TS, Rolo J, et al. 2015. Ecological Overlap and Horizontal Gene Transfer in Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis. Genome Biol Evol, 7: 1313–1328.
Moellering RC. 2012. MRSA: the first half century. J Antimicrob Chemother, 67: 4–11.
Overbeek R, Olson R, Pusch GD, Olsen GJ, Davis JJ, Disz T, Edwards RA, Gerdes S, Parrello B, Shukla M, et al. 2014. The SEED and the Rapid Annotation of microbial genomes using Subsystems Technology (RAST). Nucleic Acids Res, 42: D206–D214.
Rosenthal VD, Maki DG, Mehta Y, Leblebicioglu H, Memish ZA, Al-Mousa HH, Balkhy H, Hu B, Alvarez-Moreno C, Medeiros EA, et al. 2014. International Nosocomial Infection Control Consortium (INICC) report, data summary of 43 countries for 2007-2012. Device-associated module. Am J Infect Control, 42: 942–956.
Stewart CR, Casjens SR, Cresawn SG, Houtz JM, Smith AL, Ford ME, Peebles CL, Hatfull GF, Hendrix RW, Huang WM. 2009. The genome of bacillus subtilis bacteriophage SPO1. J Mol Biol, 388: 48–70.
Zaballos A, Mellado RP, Salas M. 1988. Initiation of phage φ 29 DNA replication by mutants with deletions at the amino end of the terminal protein. Gene, 63: 113–121.
Zhang X, Wang Y, Li S, an X, Pei G, Yong H, Hang F, Mi Z, Zhang Z, Wei W. 2015. A novel termini analysis theory using HTS data alone for the identification of Enterococcus phage EF4-like genome termini. Bmc Genomics, 16: 1–11.
Electronic supplementary material
Rights and permissions
About this article
Cite this article
Zhang, X., Kang, H., Li, Y. et al. Conserved termini and adjacent variable region of Twortlikevirus Staphylococcus phages. Virol. Sin. 30, 433–440 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12250-015-3643-y
- Twortlikevirus Staphylococcus phage
- conserved termini
- variable region