Interactions between Viral Regulatory Proteins Ensure an MOI-Independent Probability of Lysogeny during Infection by Bacteriophage P1.

Kailun ZhangLanying Zeng


Phage P1 is a temperate phage which makes the lytic or lysogenic decision upon infecting bacteria. During the lytic cycle, progeny phages are produced and the cell lyses, and in the lysogenic cycle, P1 DNA exists as a low-copy-number plasmid and replicates autonomously. Previous studies at the bulk level showed that P1 lysogenization was independent of multiplicity of infection (MOI; the number of phages infecting a cell), whereas lysogenization probability of the paradigmatic phage λ increases with MOI. However, the mechanism underlying the P1 behavior is unclear. In this work, using a fluorescent reporter system, we demonstrated this P1 MOI-independent lysogenic response at the single-cell level. We further observed that the activity of the major repressor of lytic functions (C1) is a determining factor for the final cell fate. Specifically, the repression activity of P1, which arises from a combination of C1, the anti-repressor Coi, and the corepressor Lxc, remains constant for different MOI, which results in the MOI-independent lysogenic response. Additionally, by increasing the distance between phages that infect a single cell, we were able to engineer a λ-like, MOI-dependent lysogenization upon P1 infection. This suggests...Continue Reading


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