Identification of a new P335 subgroup through molecular analysis of lactococcal phages Q33 and BM13.
ABSTRACT: Lactococcal dairy starter strains are under constant threat from phages in dairy fermentation facilities, especially by members of the so-called 936, P335, and c2 species. Among these three phage groups, members of the P335 species are the most genetically diverse. Here, we present the complete genome sequences of two P335-type phages, Q33 and BM13, isolated in North America and representing a novel lineage within this phage group. The Q33 and BM13 genomes exhibit homology, not only to P335-type, but also to elements of the 936-type phage sequences. The two phage genomes also have close relatedness to phages infecting Enterococcus and Clostridium, a heretofore unknown feature among lactococcal P335 phages. The Q33 and BM13 genomes are organized in functionally related clusters with genes encoding functions such as DNA replication and packaging, morphogenesis, and host cell lysis. Electron micrographic analysis of the two phages highlights the presence of a baseplate more reminiscent of the baseplate of 936 phages than that of the majority of members of the P335 group, with the exception of r1t and LC3.
Project description:Dairy fermentations constitute a perfect "breeding ground" for bacteriophages infecting starter cultures, particularly strains of Lactococcus lactis. In modern fermentations, these phages typically belong to one of three groups, i.e., the 936, P335, and c2 phage groups. Traditional production methods present fewer chemical and physical barriers to phage proliferation compared to modern production systems, while the starter cultures used are typically complex, variable, and undefined. In the current study, a variety of cheese whey, animal-derived rennet, and vat swab samples from artisanal cheeses produced in Sicily were analysed for the presence of lactococcal phages to assess phage diversity in such environments. The complete genomes of 18 representative phage isolates were sequenced, allowing the identification of 10 lactococcal 949 group phages, six P087 group phages, and two members of the 936 group phages. The genetic diversity of these isolates was examined using phylogenetic analysis as well as a focused analysis of the receptor binding proteins, which dictate specific interactions with the host-encoded receptor. Thermal treatments at 63 °C and 83 °C indicate that the 949 phages are particularly sensitive to thermal treatments, followed by the P087 and 936 isolates, which were shown to be much less sensitive to such treatments. This difference may explain the relatively low frequency of isolation of the so-called "rare" 949 and P087 group phages in modern fermentations.
Project description:Lactococcal siphophages from the 936 and P335 groups infect the Gram-positive bacterium Lactococcus lactis using receptor binding proteins (RBPs) attached to their baseplate, a large multiprotein complex at the distal part of the tail. We have previously reported the crystal and electron microscopy (EM) structures of the baseplates of phages p2 (936 group) and TP901-1 (P335 group) as well as the full EM structure of the TP901-1 virion. Here, we report the complete EM structure of siphophage p2, including its capsid, connector complex, tail, and baseplate. Furthermore, we show that the p2 tail is characterized by the presence of protruding decorations, which are related to adhesins and are likely contributed by the major tail protein C-terminal domains. This feature is reminiscent of the tail of Escherichia coli phage ? and Bacillus subtilis phage SPP1 and might point to a common mechanism for establishing initial interactions with their bacterial hosts. Comparative analyses showed that the architecture of the phage p2 baseplate differs largely from that of lactococcal phage TP901-1. We quantified the interaction of its RBP with the saccharidic receptor and determined that specificity is due to lower k(off) values of the RBP/saccharidic dissociation. Taken together, these results suggest that the infection of L. lactis strains by phage p2 is a multistep process that involves reversible attachment, followed by baseplate activation, specific attachment of the RBPs to the saccharidic receptor, and DNA ejection.
Project description:Phages of the Caudovirales order possess a tail that recognizes the host and ensures genome delivery upon infection. The X-ray structure of the approximately 1.8 MDa host adsorption device (baseplate) from the lactococcal phage TP901-1 shows that the receptor-binding proteins are pointing in the direction of the host, suggesting that this organelle is in a conformation ready for host adhesion. This result is in marked contrast with the lactococcal phage p2 situation, whose baseplate is known to undergo huge conformational changes in the presence of Ca(2+) to reach its active state. In vivo infection experiments confirmed these structural observations by demonstrating that Ca(2+) ions are required for host adhesion among p2-like phages (936-species) but have no influence on TP901-1-like phages (P335-species). These data suggest that these two families rely on diverse adhesion strategies which may lead to different signaling for genome release.
Project description:Despite continuous research efforts, bacterio(phages) infecting Lactococcus lactis starter strains persist as a major threat to dairy fermentations. The lactococcal P335 phages, which are currently classified into four sub-groups (I-IV), are the second most frequently isolated phage group in an industrial dairy context.The current work describes the isolation and comparative genomic analysis of 17 novel P335 group phages. Detailed analysis of the genomic region of P335 phages encoding the so-called "baseplate", which includes the receptor binding protein (RBP) was combined with a functional characterization of the RBP of sub-group III and IV phages. Additionally, calcium-dependence assays revealed a specific requirement for calcium by sub-group IV phages while host range analysis highlighted a higher number of strains with CWPS type A (11 of 39 strains) are infected by the P335 phages assessed in this study than those with a C (five strains), B (three of 39 strains) or unknown (one of 39 strains) CWPS type.These analyses revealed significant divergence among RBP sequences, apparently reflecting their unique interactions with the host and particularly for strains with a type A CWPS. The implications of the genomic architecture of lactococcal P335 phages on serving as a general model for Siphoviridae phages are discussed.
Project description:Siphoviridae of the lactococcal 936 group are the most commonly encountered bacteriophages in the dairy processing environment. The 936 group phages possess a discrete baseplate at the tip of their tail-a complex harbouring the Receptor Binding Protein (RBP) which is responsible for host recognition and attachment. The baseplate-encoding region is highly conserved amongst 936 phages, with 112 of 115 publicly available phages exhibiting complete synteny. Here, we detail the three exceptions (Phi4.2, Phi4R15L, and Phi4R16L), which differ from this genomic architecture in possessing an apparent second RBP-encoding gene upstream of the "classical" rbp gene. The newly identified RBP possesses an elongated neck region relative to currently defined 936 phage RBPs and is genetically distinct from defined 936 group RBPs. Through detailed characterisation of the representative phage Phi4.2 using a wide range of complementary techniques, we demonstrated that the above-mentioned three phages possess a complex and atypical baseplate structure. Furthermore, the presence of both RBPs in the tail tip of the mature virion was confirmed, while the anticipated host-binding capabilities of both proteins were also verified.
Project description:For this study, an in-depth review of the classification of Lactococcus lactis phages was performed. Reference phages as well as unclassified phages from international collections were analyzed by stringent DNA-DNA hybridization studies, electron microscopy observations, and sequence analyses. A new classification scheme for lactococcal phages is proposed that reduces the current 12 groups to 8. However, two new phages (Q54 and 1706), which are unrelated to known lactococcal phages, may belong to new emerging groups. The multiplex PCR method currently used for the rapid identification of phages from the three main lactococcal groups (936, c2, and P335) was improved and tested against the other groups, none of which gave a PCR product, confirming the specificity of this detection tool. However, this method does not detect all members of the highly diverse P335 group. The lactococcal phages characterized here were deposited in the Félix d'Hérelle Reference Center for Bacterial Viruses and represent a highly diverse viral community from the dairy environment.
Project description:Three genetically distinct groups of Lactococcus lactis phages are encountered in dairy plants worldwide, namely, the 936, c2, and P335 species. The multiplex PCR method was adapted to detect, in a single reaction, the presence of these species in whey samples or in phage lysates. Three sets of primers, one for each species, were designed based on conserved regions of their genomes. The c2-specific primers were constructed using the major capsid protein gene (mcp) as the target. The mcp sequences for three phages (eb1, Q38, and Q44) were determined and compared with the two available in the databases, those for phages c2 and bIL67. An 86.4% identity was found over the five mcp genes. The gene of the only major structural protein (msp) was selected as a target for the detection of 936-related phages. The msp sequences for three phages (p2, Q7, and Q11) were also established and matched with the available data on phages sk1, bIL170, and F4-1. The comparison of the six msp genes revealed an 82. 2% identity. A high genomic diversity was observed among structural proteins of the P335-like phages suggesting that the classification of lactococcal phages within this species should be revised. Nevertheless, we have identified a common genomic region in 10 P335-like phages isolated from six countries. This region corresponded to orfF17-orf18 of phage r1t and orf20-orf21 of Tuc2009 and was sequenced for three additional P335 phages (Q30, P270, and ul40). An identity of 93.4% within a 739-bp region of the five phages was found. The detection limit of the multiplex PCR method in whey was 10(4) to 10(7) PFU/ml and was 10(3) to 10(5) PFU/ml with an additional phage concentration step. The method can also be used to detect phage DNA in whey powders and may also detect prophage or defective phage in the bacterial genome.
Project description:Lactococcus lactis, a gram-positive bacterium widely used by the dairy industry to manufacture cheeses, is subject to infection by a diverse population of virulent phages. We have previously determined the structures of three receptor binding proteins (RBPs) from lactococcal phages TP901-1, p2, and bIL170, each of them having a distinct host range. Virulent phages p2 and bIL170 are classified within the 936 group, while the temperate phage TP901-1 is a member of the genetically distinct P335 polythetic group. These RBPs comprise three domains: the N-terminal domain, binding to the virion particle; a beta-helical linker domain; and the C-terminal domain, bearing the receptor binding site used for host recognition. Here, we have designed, expressed, and determined the structure of an RBP chimera in which the N-terminal and linker RBP domains of phage TP901-1 (P335) are fused to the C-terminal RBP domain of phage p2 (936). This chimera exhibits a stable structure that closely resembles the parental structures, while a slight displacement of the linker made RBP domain adaptation efficient. The receptor binding site is structurally indistinguishable from that of native p2 RBP and binds glycerol with excellent affinity.
Project description:This report describes the morphological characterization and genome analysis of an induced prophage (PLg-TB25) from a dairy strain of Lactococcus garvieae. The phage belongs to the Siphoviridae family and its morphology is typical of other lactococcal phages. A general analysis of its genome did not reveal similarities with other lactococcal phage genomes, confirming its novelty. However, similarities were found between genes of its morphogenesis cluster and genes of Gram-positive bacteria, suggesting that this phage genome resulted from recombination events that took place in a heterogeneous microbial environment. An in silico search for other prophages in 16?L. garvieae genomes available in public databases, uncovered eight seemingly complete prophages in strains isolated from dairy and fish niches. Genome analyses of these prophages revealed three novel L. garvieae phages. The remaining prophages had homology to phages of Lactococcus lactis (P335 group) suggesting a close relationship between these lactococcal species. The similarity in GC content of L. garvieae prophages to the genomes of L. lactis phages further supports the hypothesis that these phages likely originated from the same ancestor.
Project description:Genome sequencing and comparative analysis of bacteriophage collections has greatly enhanced our understanding regarding their prevalence, phage-host interactions as well as the overall biodiversity of their genomes. This knowledge is very relevant to phages infecting Lactococcus lactis, since they constitute a significant risk factor for dairy fermentations. Of the eighty four lactococcal phage genomes currently available, fifty five belong to the so-called 936 group, the most prevalent of the ten currently recognized lactococcal phage groups. Here, we report the genetic characteristics of a new collection of 936 group phages. By combining these genomes to those sequenced previously we determined the core and variable elements of the 936 genome. Genomic variation occurs across the 936 phage genome, such as genetic elements that (i) lead to a +1 translational frameshift resulting in the formation of additional structures on the phage tail, (ii) specify a double neck passage structure, and (iii) encode packaging module-associated methylases. Hierarchical clustering of the gene complement of the 936 group phages and nucleotide alignments allowed grouping of the ninety 936 group phages into distinct clusters, which in general appear to correspond with their geographical origin.