Apr 13, 2020

Discovering the Molecular Determinants of Phaeobacter inhibens susceptibility to Phaeobacter phage MD18

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Guillaume UrtechoG. A. O'Toole


Bacteriophage technologies have immense potential as antibiotic therapies and in genetic engineering. Understanding the mechanisms that bacteriophages implement to infect their hosts will allow researchers to manipulate these systems and adapt them to specific bacterial targets. Here, we isolated a bacteriophage capable of infecting the marine alphaproteobacterium Phaeobacter inhibens and dissected its mechanism of infection. Phaeobacter phage MD18, a novel species of bacteriophage isolated in Woods Hole, MA, exhibits potent lytic ability against P. inhibens and appears to be of the Siphoviridae morphotype. Consistent with this finding, the sequence of the MD18 revealed significant similarity to another siphophage, the recently discovered Roseobacter phage DSS3P8. We incubated MD18 with a library of barcoded P. inhibens transposon insertion mutants and identified 22 genes that appear to be required for phage predation of this host. Network analysis of these genes using genomic position, GO term enrichment, and protein associations reveals that these genes are enriched for roles in assembly of a type IV pilus (T4P) and regulators of cellular morphology. Our results suggest that T4P serve as receptors for a novel marine virus tha...Continue Reading

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