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Effect of the abortive infection mechanism and type III toxin/antitoxin system AbiQ on the lytic cycle of Lactococcus lactis phages.


ABSTRACT: To survive in phage-containing environments, bacteria have evolved an array of antiphage systems. Similarly, phages have overcome these hurdles through various means. Here, we investigated how phages are able to circumvent the Lactococcus lactis AbiQ system, a type III toxin-antitoxin with antiviral activities. Lactococcal phage escape mutants were obtained in the laboratory, and their genomes were sequenced. Three unrelated genes of unknown function were mutated in derivatives of three distinct lactococcal siphophages: orf38 of phage P008, m1 of phage bIL170, and e19 of phage c2. One-step growth curve experiments revealed that the phage mutations had a fitness cost while transcriptional analyses showed that AbiQ modified the early-expressed phage mRNA profiles. The L. lactis AbiQ system was also transferred into Escherichia coli MG1655 and tested against several coliphages. While AbiQ was efficient against phages T4 (Myoviridae) and T5 (Siphoviridae), escape mutants of only phage 2 (Myoviridae) could be isolated. Genome sequencing revealed a mutation in gene orf210, a putative DNA polymerase. Taking these observations together, different phage genes or gene products are targeted or involved in the AbiQ phenotype. Moreover, this antiviral system is active against various phage families infecting Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. A model for the mode of action of AbiQ is proposed.

SUBMITTER: Samson JE 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC3754610 | BioStudies | 2013-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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