Browsing by Subject "PHAGE"

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  • Woudstra, Cedric; Mäklin, Tommi; Derman, Yagmur; Bano, Luca; Skarin, Hanna; Mazuet, Christelle; Honkela, Antti; Lindström, Miia (2021)
    Clostridium botulinum group III is the anaerobic Gram-positive bacterium producing the deadly neurotoxin responsible for animal botulism. Here, we used long-read sequencing to produce four complete genomes from Clostridium botulinum group III neurotoxin types C, D, C/D, and D/C. The protocol for obtaining high-molecular-weight DNA from C. botulinum group III is described.
  • Huang, Weini; Traulsen, Arne; Werner, Benjamin; Hiltunen, Teppo; Becks, Lutz (2017)
    Trade-offs play an important role in evolution. Without trade-offs, evolution would maximize fitness of all traits leading to a "master of all traits". The shape of trade-offs has been shown to determine evolutionary trajectories and is often assumed to be static and independent of the actual evolutionary process. Here we propose that coevolution leads to a dynamical trade-off. We test this hypothesis in a microbial predator-prey system and show that the bacterial growth-defense trade-off changes from concave to convex, i.e., defense is effective and cheap initially, but gets costly when predators coevolve. We further explore the impact of such dynamical trade-offs by a novel mathematical model incorporating de novo mutations for both species. Predator and prey populations diversify rapidly leading to higher prey diversity when the trade-off is concave (cheap). Coevolution results in more convex (costly) trade-offs and lower prey diversity compared to the scenario where only the prey evolves.
  • Sulcius, Sigitas; Simoliunas, Eugenijus; Alzbutas, Gediminas; Gasiunas, Giedrius; Jauniskis, Vykintas; Kuznecova, Jolita; Miettinen, Sini; Nilsson, Emelie; Meskys, Rolandas; Roine, Elina; Paskauskas, Ricardas; Holmfeldt, Karin (2019)
    While filamentous cyanobacteria play a crucial role in food web dynamics and biogeochemical cycling of many aquatic ecosystems around the globe, the knowledge regarding the phages infecting them is limited. Here, we describe the complete genome of the virulent cyanophage vB_AphaS-CL131 (here, CL 131), a Siphoviridae phage that infects the filamentous diazotrophic bloom-forming cyanobacterium Aphanizomenon flos-aquae in the brackish Baltic Sea. CL 131 features a 112,793-bp double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) genome encompassing 149 putative open reading frames (ORFs), of which the majority (86%) lack sequence homology to genes with known functions in other bacteriophages or bacteria. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that CL 131 possibly represents a new evolutionary lineage within the group of cyanophages infecting filamentous cyanobacteria, which form a separate cluster from phages infecting unicellular cyanobacteria. CL 131 encodes a putative type V-U2 CRISPR-Cas system with one spacer (out of 10) targeting a DNA primase pseudogene in a cyanobacterium and a putative type II toxin-antitoxin system, consisting of a GNAT family N-acetyltransferase and a protein of unknown function containing the PRK09726 domain (characteristic of HipB antitoxins). Comparison of CL 131 proteins to reads from Baltic Sea and other available fresh- and brackish-water metagenomes and analysis of CRISPR-Cas arrays in publicly available A. flos-aquae genomes demonstrated that phages similar to CL 131 are present and dynamic in the Baltic Sea and share a common history with their hosts dating back at least several decades. In addition, different CRISPR-Cas systems within individual A. flos-aquae genomes targeted several sequences in the CL 131 genome, including genes related to virion structure and morphogenesis. Altogether, these findings revealed new genomic information for exploring viral diversity and provide a model system for investigation of virus-host interactions in filamentous cyanobacteria. IMPORTANCE The genomic characterization of novel cyanophage vB_AphaS-CL131 and the analysis of its genomic features in the context of other viruses, metagenomic data, and host CRISPR-Cas systems contribute toward a better understanding of aquatic viral diversity and distribution in general and of brackish-water cyanophages infecting filamentous diazotrophic cyanobacteria in the Baltic Sea in particular. The results of this study revealed previously undescribed features of cyanophage genomes (e.g., self-excising intein-containing putative dCTP deaminase and putative cyanophage-encoded CRISPR-Cas and toxin-antitoxin systems) and can therefore be used to predict potential interactions between bloom-forming cyanobacteria and their cyanophages.
  • Badawy, Shimaa; Pajunen, Maria I.; Haiko, Johanna; Baka, Zakaria A. M.; Abou-Dobara, Mohamed; El-Sayed, Ahmed K. A.; Skurnik, Mikael (2020)
    Acinetobacter baumanniiis an opportunistic pathogen that presents a serious clinical challenge due to its increasing resistance to all available antibiotics. Phage therapy has been introduced recently to treat antibiotic-incurableA. baumanniiinfections. In search for newA. baumanniispecific bacteriophages, 20 clinicalA. baumanniistrains were used in two pools in an attempt to enrich phages from sewage. The enrichment resulted in induction of resident prophage(s) and three temperate bacteriophages, named vB_AbaS_fEg-Aba01, vB_AbaS_fLi-Aba02 and vB_AbaS_fLi-Aba03, all able to infect only one strain (#6597) of the 20 clinical strains, were isolated. Morphological characteristics obtained by transmission electron microscopy together with the genomic information revealed that the phages belong to the familySiphoviridae. The ca. 35 kb genomic sequences of the phages were >99% identical to each other. The linear ds DNA genomes of the phages contained 10 nt cohesive end termini, 52-54 predicted genes, anattPsite and one tRNA gene each. A database search revealed an >99% identical prophage in the genome ofA. baumanniistrain AbPK1 (acc. no. CP024576.1). Over 99% identical prophages were also identified from two of the original 20 clinical strains (#5707 and #5920) and both were shown to be spontaneously inducible, thus very likely being the origins of the isolated phages. The phage vB_AbaS_fEg-Aba01 was also able to lysogenize the susceptible strain #6597 demonstrating that it was fully functional. The phages showed a very narrow host range infecting only twoA. baumanniistrains. In conclusion, we have isolated and characterized three novel temperateSiphoviridaephages that infectA.baumannii.
  • Laanto, Elina; Hoikkala, Ville; Ravantti, Janne; Sundberg, Lotta-Riina (2017)
    Antagonistic coevolution of parasite infectivity and host resistance may alter the biological functionality of species, yet these dynamics in nature are still poorly understood. Here we show the molecular details of a long-term phage-bacterium arms race in the environment. Bacteria (Flavobacterium columnare) are generally resistant to phages from the past and susceptible to phages isolated in years after bacterial isolation. Bacterial resistance selects for increased phage infectivity and host range, which is also associated with expansion of phage genome size. We identified two CRISPR loci in the bacterial host: a type II-C locus and a type VI-B locus. While maintaining a core set of conserved spacers, phage-matching spacers appear in the variable ends of both loci over time. The spacers mostly target the terminal end of the phage genomes, which also exhibit the most variation across time, resulting in arms-race-like changes in the protospacers of the coevolving phage population.
  • Santos-Perez, Isaac; Oksanen, Hanna M.; Bamford, Dennis H.; Goni, Felix M.; Reguera, David; Abrescia, Nicola G. A. (2017)
    Genome packaging and delivery are fundamental steps in the replication cycle of all viruses. Icosahedral viruses with linear double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) usually pacicage their genome into a preformed, rigid procapsid using the power generated by a virus-encoded packaging ATPase. The pressure and stored energy due to this confinement of DNA at a high density is assumed to drive the initial stages of genome ejection. Membrane-containing icosahedral viruses, such as bacteriophage PRD1, present an additional architectural complexity by enclosing their genome within an internal membrane vesicle. Upon adsorption to a host cell, the PRD1 membrane remodels into a proteo-lipidic tube that provides a conduit for passage of the ejected linear dsDNA through the cell envelope. Based on volume analyses of PRD1 membrane vesicles captured by cryo-electron tomography and modeling of the elastic properties of the vesicle, we propose that the internal membrane makes a crucial and active contribution during infection by maintaining the driving force for DNA ejection and countering the internal turgor pressure of the host These novel functions extend the role of the PRD1 viral membrane beyond tube formation or the mere physical confinement of the genome. The presence and assistance of an internal membrane might constitute a biological advantage that extends also to other viruses that package their linear dsDNA to high density within an internal vesicle. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Azinas, S.; Bano, F.; Torca, I.; Bamford, D. H.; Schwartz, G. A.; Esnaola, J.; Oksanen, H. M.; Richter, R. P.; Abrescia, N. G. (2018)
    The protection of the viral genome during extracellular transport is an absolute requirement for virus survival and replication. In addition to the almost universal proteinaceous capsids, certain viruses add a membrane layer that encloses their double-stranded (ds) DNA genome within the protein shell. Using the membrane-containing enterobacterial virus PRD1 as a prototype, and a combination of nanoindentation assays by atomic force microscopy and finite element modelling, we show that PRD1 provides a greater stability against mechanical stress than that achieved by the majority of dsDNA icosahedral viruses that lack a membrane. We propose that the combination of a stiff and brittle proteinaceous shell coupled with a soft and compliant membrane vesicle yields a tough composite nanomaterial well-suited to protect the viral DNA during extracellular transport.
  • Pietilä, Maija K.; Roine, Elina; Sencilo, Ana; Bamford, Dennis H.; Oksanen, Hanna M. (2016)
    Viruses infecting archaea show a variety of virion morphotypes, and they are currently classified into more than ten viral families or corresponding groups. A pleomorphic virus morphotype is very common among haloarchaeal viruses, and to date, several such viruses have been isolated. Here, we propose the classification of eight such viruses and formation of a new family, Pleolipoviridae (from the Greek pleo for more or many and lipos for lipid), containing three genera, Alpha-, Beta-, and Gammapleolipovirus. The proposal is currently under review by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV). The members of the proposed family Pleolipoviridae infect halophilic archaea and are nonlytic. They share structural and genomic features and differ from any other classified virus. The virion of pleolipoviruses is composed of a pleomorphic membrane vesicle enclosing the genome. All pleolipoviruses have two major structural protein species, internal membrane and spike proteins. Although the genomes of the pleolipoviruses are single- or double-stranded, linear or circular DNA molecules, they share the same genome organization and gene synteny and show significant similarity at the amino acid level. The canonical features common to all members of the proposed family Pleolipoviridae show that they are closely related and thus form a new viral family.
  • Mäntynen, Sari; Sundberg, Lotta-Riina; Poranen, Minna Marjetta (2018)
    Cystoviridae is a family of bacterial viruses (bacteriophages) with a tri-segmented dsRNA genome. It includes a single genus Cystovirus, which has presently only one recognised virus species, Pseudomonas virus phi6. However, a large number of additional dsRNA phages have been isolated from various environmental samples, indicating that such viruses are more widespread and abundant than previously recognised. Six of the additional dsRNA phage isolates (Pseudomonas phages phi8, phi12, phi13, phi2954, phiNN and phiYY) have been fully sequenced. They all infect Pseudomonas species, primarily plant pathogenic Pseudomonas syringae strains. Due to the notable genetic and structural similarities with Pseudomonas phage phi6, we propose that these viruses should be included into the Cystovirus genus (and consequently into the Cystoviridae family). Here, we present an updated taxonomy of the family Cystoviridae and give a short overview of the properties of the type member phi6 as well as the putative new members of the family.
  • Kasurinen, Jutta; Spruit, Cindy M.; Wicklund, Anu; Pajunen, Maria I.; Skurnik, Mikael (2021)
    Bacteriophage vB_EcoM_fHy-Eco03 (fHy-Eco03 for short) was isolated from a sewage sample based on its ability to infect an Escherichia coli clinical blood culture isolate. Altogether, 32 genes encoding hypothetical proteins of unknown function (HPUFs) were identified from the genomic sequence of fHy-Eco03. The HPUFs were screened for toxic properties (toxHPUFs) with a novel, Next Generation Sequencing (NGS)-based approach. This approach identifies toxHPUF-encoding genes through comparison of gene-specific read coverages in DNA from pooled ligation mixtures before electroporation and pooled transformants after electroporation. The performance and reliability of the NGS screening assay was compared with a plating efficiency-based method, and both methods identified the fHy-Eco03 gene g05 product as toxic. While the outcomes of the two screenings were highly similar, the NGS screening assay outperformed the plating efficiency assay in both reliability and efficiency. The NGS screening assay can be used as a high throughput method in the search for new phage-inspired antimicrobial molecules.
  • Adriaenssens, Evelien M; Sullivan, Matthew B.; Knezevic, Petar; van Zyl, Leonardo J.; Sarkar, BL; Dutilh, Bas E.; Alfenas-Zerbini, Poliane; Lobocka, Malgorzata; Tong, Yigang; Brister, J. Rodney; Moreno Switt, Andrea I.; Klumpp, Jochen; Aziz, Ramy Karam; Barylski, Jakub; Uchiyama, Jumpei; Edwards, Rob A; Kropinski, Andrew M.; Petty, Nicola K; Clokie, Martha R. C.; Kushkina, Alla I; Morozova, Vera V; Duffy, Siobain; Gillis, Annika; Rumnieks, Janis; Kurtböke, İpek; Chanishvili, Nina; Goodridge, Lawrence; Wittmann, Johannes; Lavigne, Rob; Jang, Ho Bin; Prangishvili, David; Enault, François; Turner, Dann; Poranen, Minna; Oksanen, Hanna M; Krupovic, Mart (2020)
    This article is a summary of the activities of the ICTV's Bacterial and Archaeal Viruses Subcommittee for the years 2018 and 2019. Highlights include the creation of a new order, 10 families, 22 subfamilies, 424 genera and 964 species. Some of our concerns about the ICTV's ability to adjust to and incorporate new DNA- and protein-based taxonomic tools are discussed.
  • Nagy, Kinga K.; Skurnik, Mikael; Vertessy, Beata G. (2021)
    Deoxyuridine in DNA has recently been in the focus of research due to its intriguing roles in several physiological and pathophysiological situations. Although not an orthodox DNA base, uracil may appear in DNA via either cytosine deamination or thymine-replacing incorporations. Since these alterations may induce mutation or may perturb DNA-protein interactions, free living organisms from bacteria to human contain several pathways to counteract uracilation. These efficient and highly specific repair routes uracil-directed excision repair initiated by representative of uracil-DNA glycosylase families. Interestingly, some bacteriophages exist with thymine-lacking uracil-DNA genome. A detailed understanding of the strategy by which such phages can replicate in bacteria where an efficient repair pathway functions for uracil-excision from DNA is expected to reveal novel inhibitors that can also be used for biotechnological applications. Here, we also review the several potential biotechnological applications already implemented based on inhibitors of uracil-excision repair, such as Crispr-base-editing and detection of nascent uracil distribution pattern in complex genomes.