Molecular characterization of T4-type bacteriophages in a rice field

Authors

  • Zhongjun Jia,

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratory of Soil Biology and Chemistry, Graduate School of Bioagricultural Sciences, Nagoya University, Furocho, Chikusa, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan.
    2. Max-Planck-Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology, Karl-von-Frisch-Straße, 35043 Marburg, Germany.
      *E-mail jia@mpi-marburg.mpg.de; Tel. (+49) 6421 178 742; Fax (+49) 6421 178 809.
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  • Rie Ishihara,

    1. Laboratory of Soil Biology and Chemistry, Graduate School of Bioagricultural Sciences, Nagoya University, Furocho, Chikusa, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan.
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  • Yasunori Nakajima,

    1. Laboratory of Soil Biology and Chemistry, Graduate School of Bioagricultural Sciences, Nagoya University, Furocho, Chikusa, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan.
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  • Susumu Asakawa,

    1. Laboratory of Soil Biology and Chemistry, Graduate School of Bioagricultural Sciences, Nagoya University, Furocho, Chikusa, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan.
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  • Makoto Kimura

    1. Laboratory of Soil Biology and Chemistry, Graduate School of Bioagricultural Sciences, Nagoya University, Furocho, Chikusa, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan.
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*E-mail jia@mpi-marburg.mpg.de; Tel. (+49) 6421 178 742; Fax (+49) 6421 178 809.

Summary

Bacteriophages, the viruses that infect bacteria, are the most abundant biological entities in the biosphere and play a key role in global biogeochemical cycling. All T4-type bacteriophage isolates tested so far have a conserved genetic module that encodes the virion components including gene 23 (g23), the major capsid protein. Molecular analysis of the g23 sequence revealed a remarkable level of diversity of T4-type bacteriophages isolated from rice straw and surface soil in a Japanese rice field. It was found that g23 sequences obtained from the rice field were quite distinctive from those obtained in marine environments. Phylogenetic analysis showed that most of these g23 sequences belonged to two novel subgroups of T4-type bacteriophages, although some of them were related to well-studied subgroups of T4-type bacteriophages, such as marine cyanophage isolates of exoT-evens.

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