Interaction between the genomes of Lactococcus lactis and phages of the P335 species.
ABSTRACT: Phages of the P335 species infect Lactococcus lactis and have been particularly studied because of their association with strains of L. lactis subsp. cremoris used as dairy starter cultures. Unlike other lactococcal phages, those of the P335 species may have a temperate or lytic lifestyle, and are believed to originate from the starter cultures themselves. We have sequenced the genome of L. lactis subsp. cremoris KW2 isolated from fermented corn and found that it contains an integrated P335 species prophage. This 41 kb prophage (? KW2) has a mosaic structure with functional modules that are highly similar to several other phages of the P335 species associated with dairy starter cultures. Comparison of the genomes of 26 phages of the P335 species, with either a lytic or temperate lifestyle, shows that they can be divided into three groups and that the morphogenesis gene region is the most conserved. Analysis of these phage genomes in conjunction with the genomes of several L. lactis strains shows that prophage insertion is site specific and occurs at seven different chromosomal locations. Exactly how induced or lytic phages of the P335 species interact with carbohydrate cell surface receptors in the host cell envelope remains to be determined. Genes for the biosynthesis of a variable cell surface polysaccharide and for lipoteichoic acids (LTAs) are found in L. lactis and are the main candidates for phage receptors, as the genes for other cell surface carbohydrates have been lost from dairy starter strains. Overall, phages of the P335 species appear to have had only a minor role in the adaptation of L. lactis subsp. cremoris strains to the dairy environment, and instead they appear to be an integral part of the L. lactis chromosome. There remains a great deal to be discovered about their role, and their contribution to the evolution of the bacterial genome.
Project description:The complete genome sequence of Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris 3107, a dairy starter strain and a host for the model lactococcal P335 bacteriophage TP901-1, is reported here. The circular chromosome of L. lactis subsp. cremoris 3107 is among the smallest genomes of currently sequenced lactococcal strains. L. lactis subsp. cremoris 3107 harbors a complement of six plasmids, which appears to be a reflection of its adaptation to the nutrient-rich dairy environment.
Project description:Analysis of autolysis of derivatives of Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris MG1363 and subsp. lactis IL1403, both lacking the major autolysin AcmA, showed that L. lactis IL1403 still lysed during growth while L. lactis MG1363 did not. Zymographic analysis revealed that a peptidoglycan hydrolase activity of around 30 kDa is present in cell extracts of L. lactis IL1403 that could not be detected in strain MG1363. A comparison of all genes encoding putative peptidoglycan hydrolases of IL1403 and MG1363 led to the assumption that one or more of the 99 % homologous 27.9-kDa endolysins encoded by the prophages bIL285, bIL286 and bIL309 could account for the autolysis phenotype of IL1403. Induced expression of the endolysins from bIL285, bIL286 or bIL309 in L. lactis MG1363 resulted in detectable lysis or lytic activity. Prophage deletion and insertion derivatives of L. lactis IL1403 had a reduced cell lysis phenotype. RT-qPCR and zymogram analysis showed that each of these strains still expressed one or more of the three phage lysins. A homologous gene and an endolysin activity were also identified in the natural starter culture L. lactis subsp. cremoris strains E8, Wg2 and HP, and the lytic activity could be detected under growth conditions that were identical as those used for IL1403. The results presented here show that these endolysins of L. lactis are expressed during normal growth and contribute to autolysis without production of (lytic) phages. Screening for natural strains expressing homologous endolysins could help in the selection of strains with enhanced autolysis and, thus, cheese ripening properties.
Project description:Despite being potentially highly useful for characterizing the biodiversity of phages, metagenomic studies are currently not available for dairy bacteriophages, partly due to the lack of a standard procedure for phage extraction. We optimized an extraction method that allows the removal of the bulk protein from whey and milk samples with losses of less than 50% of spiked phages. The protocol was applied to extract phages from whey in order to test the notion that members of Lactococcus lactis 936 (now Sk1virus), P335, c2 (now C2virus) and Leuconostoc phage groups are the most frequently encountered in the dairy environment. The relative abundance and diversity of phages in eight and four whey mixtures from dairies using undefined mesophilic mixed-strain cultures containing Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis biovar diacetylactis and Leuconostoc species (i.e., DL starter cultures) and defined cultures, respectively, were assessed. Results obtained from transmission electron microscopy and high-throughput sequence analyses revealed the dominance of Lc. lactis 936 phages (order Caudovirales, family Siphoviridae) in dairies using undefined DL starter cultures and Lc. lactis c2 phages (order Caudovirales, family Siphoviridae) in dairies using defined cultures. The 936 and Leuconostoc phages demonstrated limited diversity. Possible coinduction of temperate P335 prophages and satellite phages in one of the whey mixtures was also observed.IMPORTANCE The method optimized in this study could provide an important basis for understanding the dynamics of the phage community (abundance, development, diversity, evolution, etc.) in dairies with different sizes, locations, and production strategies. It may also enable the discovery of previously unknown phages, which is crucial for the development of rapid molecular biology-based methods for phage burden surveillance systems. The dominance of only a few phage groups in the dairy environment signifies the depth of knowledge gained over the past decades, which served as the basis for designing current phage control strategies. The presence of a correlation between phages and the type of starter cultures being used in dairies might help to improve the selection and/or design of suitable, custom, and cost-efficient phage control strategies.
Project description:In this study, we describe the genetic organizations of six and five apparent prophage-like elements present in the genomes of the Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris strains MG1363 and SK11, respectively. Phylogenetic investigation as well bioinformatic analyses indicates that all 11 prophages belong to subdivisions of the lactococcal P335 group of temperate bacteriophages.
Project description:Bacteriophages are the main cause of fermentation failures in dairy plants. The majority of Streptococcus thermophilus phages can be divided into either cos- or pac-type phages and are additionally characterized by examining the V2 region of their antireceptors. We screened a large number of S. thermophilus phages from the Chr. Hansen A/S collection, using PCR specific for the cos- or pac-type phages, as well as for the V2 antireceptor region. Three phages did not produce positive results with the assays. Analysis of phage morphologies indicated that two of these phages, CHPC577 and CHPC926, had shorter tails than the traditional S. thermophilus phages. The third phage, CHPC1151, had a tail size similar to those of the cos- or pac-type phages, but it displayed a different baseplate structure. Sequencing analysis revealed the genetic similarity of CHPC577 and CHPC926 with a subgroup of Lactococcus lactis P335 phages. Phage CHPC1151 was closely related to the atypical S. thermophilus phage 5093, homologous with a nondairy streptococcal prophage. By testing adsorption of the related streptococcal and lactococcal phages to the surface of S. thermophilus and L. lactis strains, we revealed the possibility of cross-interactions. Our data indicated that the use of S. thermophilus together with L. lactis, extensively applied for dairy fermentations, triggered the recombination between phages infecting different bacterial species. A notable diversity among S. thermophilus phage populations requires that a new classification of the group be proposed.IMPORTANCEStreptococcus thermophilus is a component of thermophilic starter cultures commonly used for cheese and yogurt production. Characterizing streptococcal phages, understanding their genetic relationships, and studying their interactions with various hosts are the necessary steps for preventing and controlling phage attacks that occur during dairy fermentations.
Project description:Here, we report the complete genome of Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris UC509.9, an Irish dairy starter. The circular chromosome of L. lactis UC509.9 represents the smallest among those of the sequenced lactococcal strains, while its large complement of eight plasmids appears to be a reflection of its adaptation to the dairy environment.
Project description:Lactococcus Ceduovirus (formerly c2virus) bacteriophages are among the three most prevalent phage types reported in dairy environments. Phages from this group conduct a strictly lytic lifestyle and cause substantial losses during milk fermentation processes, by infecting lactococcal host starter strains. Despite their deleterious activity, there are limited research data concerning Ceduovirus phages. To advance our knowledge on this specific phage group, we sequenced and performed a comparative analysis of 10 new Lactococcus lactis Ceduovirus phages isolated from distinct dairy environments. Host range studies allowed us to distinguish the differential patterns of infection of L. lactis cells for each phage, and revealed a broad host spectrum for most of them. We showed that 40% of the studied Ceduovirus phages can infect both cremoris and lactis strains. A preference to lyse strains with the C-type cell wall polysaccharide genotype was observed. Phage whole-genome sequencing revealed an average nucleotide identity above 80%, with distinct regions of divergence mapped to several locations. The comparative approach for analyzing genomic data and the phage lytic spectrum suggested that the amino acid sequence of the orf8-encoded putative tape measure protein correlates with host range. Phylogenetic studies revealed separation of the sequenced phages into two subgroups. Finally, we identified three types of phage origin of replication regions, and showed they are able to support plasmid replication without additional phage proteins.
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:Lactococcus lactis is among the most widely studied lactic acid bacterial species due to its long history of safe use and economic importance to the dairy industry, where it is exploited as a starter culture in cheese production.In the current study, we report on the complete sequencing of 16 L. lactis subsp. lactis and L. lactis subsp. cremoris genomes. The chromosomal features of these 16 L. lactis strains in conjunction with 14 completely sequenced, publicly available lactococcal chromosomes were assessed with particular emphasis on discerning the L. lactis subspecies division, evolution and niche adaptation. The deduced pan-genome of L. lactis was found to be closed, indicating that the representative data sets employed for this analysis are sufficient to fully describe the genetic diversity of the taxon.Niche adaptation appears to play a significant role in governing the genetic content of each L. lactis subspecies, while (differential) genome decay and redundancy in the dairy niche is also highlighted.
Project description:Simultaneous quantitative detection of Lactococcus (Lc.) lactis and Leuconostoc species bacteriophages (phages) has not been reported in dairies using undefined mixed-strain DL-starters, probably due to the lack of applicable methods. We optimized a high-throughput qPCR system that allows simultaneous quantitative detection of Lc. lactis 936 (now SK1virus), P335, c2 (now C2virus) and Leuconostoc phage groups. Component assays are designed to have high efficiencies and nearly the same dynamic detection ranges, i.e., from ~1.1 x 105 to ~1.1 x 101 phage genomes per reaction, which corresponds to ~9 x 107 to ~9 x 103 phage particles mL-1 without any additional up-concentrating steps. The amplification efficiencies of the corresponding assays were 100.1±2.6, 98.7±2.3, 101.0±2.3 and 96.2±6.2. The qPCR system was tested on samples obtained from a dairy plant that employed traditional mother-bulk-cheese vat system. High levels of 936 and P335 phages were detected in the mother culture and the bulk starter, but also in the whey samples. Low levels of phages were detected in the cheese milk samples.