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Title: Sequence analysis of the Lactobacillus plantarum bacteriophage phi JL-1

item Breidt, Frederick
item PREDKI, P

Submitted to: Gene
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/27/2004
Publication Date: 1/1/2005
Citation: Lu, Z., Altermann, E., Breidt, F., Predki, P., Fleming, H.P., Klaenhammer, T.R. 2005. Sequence analysis of the Lactobacillus plantarum bacteriophage phi JL-1. Gene. 348:45-54.

Interpretive Summary: We describe the analysis of the genome sequence of a bacterial virus. This virus infects Lactobacillus plantarum, the principal microorganism in cucumber fermentations, and does not infect other bacteria or animals. Studying the genome of this and related viruses has helped determine how they infect and kill their host cells. This virus is specific for an L. plantarum strain that we would like to use as a starter culture in low salt vegetable fermentations. This is important because disposal of waste salt from processing fermented vegetables is a major economic and environmental problem for the pickled vegetable industry. The analysis of the genome of this virus may lead to novel strategies to prevent this and similar viruses from interfering with starter cultures in controlled fermentations, and aid in the development of low salt fermentation technology.

Technical Abstract: The complete genomic sequence of a Lactobacillus plantarum virulent phage JL-1 was determined. The phage possesses a linear, double-stranded, DNA genome consisting of 36,674 bp with a G+C content of 39.35%. Forty-six possible open reading frames (ORFs) were identified. According to N-terminal amino acid sequencing and bioinformatic analyses, proven or putative functions were assigned to 17 ORFs (39%), including 5 structural protein genes. The JL-1 genome shows functionally related genes clustered together in a modular genome structure composed of modules for DNA packaging, head and tail morphogenesis, lysis, and DNA replication. This type of modular genomic organization was similar to several other phages infecting lactic acid bacteria. The structural gene maps revealed that the order of the head and tail genes is highly conserved among the genomes of several Siphoviridae phages, allowing the assignment of probable functions to certain uncharacterized ORFs from phage JL-1 and other Siphoviridae phages.