Genomic Characterization of a Novel Freshwater Cyanophage Reveals a New Lineage of Cyanopodovirus.
ABSTRACT: Cyanobacteria are one of the dominant autotrophs in tropical freshwater communities, yet phages infecting them remain poorly characterized. Here we present the characterization of cyanophage S-SRP02, isolated from a tropical freshwater lake in Singapore, which infects Synechococcus sp. Strain SR-C1 isolated from the same lake. S-SRP02 represents a new evolutionary lineage of cyanophage. Out of 47 open reading frames (ORFs), only 20 ORFs share homology with genes encoding proteins of known function. There is lack of auxiliary metabolic genes which was commonly found as core genes in marine cyanopodoviruses. S-SRP02 also harbors unique structural genes highly divergent from other cultured phages. Phylogenetic analysis and viral proteomic tree further demonstrate the divergence of S-SRP02 from other sequenced phage isolates. Nonetheless, S-SRP02 shares synteny with phage genes of uncultured phages obtained from the Mediterranean Sea deep chlorophyll maximum fosmids, indicating the ecological importance of S-SRP02 and its related viruses. This is further supported by metagenomic mapping of environmental viral metagenomic reads onto the S-SRP02 genome.
Project description:Cyanobacteria and cyanophages are present widely in both freshwater and marine environments. However, freshwater cyanophages remain unknown largely due to the small numbers of cyanophage isolates despite their ecological and environmental significance. In this study, we present the characterization of two novel lytic freshwater cyanophages isolated from a tropical inland lake in Singapore, namely, cyanopodovirus S-SRP01 and cyanomyovirus S-SRM01, infecting two different strains of <i>Synechococcus</i> spp. Functional annotation of S-SRP01 and S-SRM01 genomes revealed a high degree of homology with marine cyanophages. Phylogenetic trees of concatenated genes and whole-genome alignment provided further evidence that S-SRP01 is close evolutionarily to marine cyanopodoviruses, while S-SRM01 is evolutionarily close to marine cyanomyoviruses. Few genetic similarities between freshwater and marine cyanophages have been identified in previous studies. The isolation of S-SRP01 and S-SRM01 expand current knowledge on freshwater cyanophages infecting <i>Synechococcus</i> spp. Their high degree of gene sharing provides new insights into the evolutionary relationships between freshwater and marine cyanophages. This relatedness is further supported by the discovery of similar phenomenon from other freshwater viral metagenomes. <b>IMPORTANCE</b> This study expands the current knowledge on freshwater cyanophage isolates and cyanophage genetic diversity, indicating that freshwater and marine cyanophages infecting <i>Synechococcus</i> spp. may share close genetic similarity and evolutionary relationships.
Project description:Despite the abundance, ubiquity and impact of environmental viruses, their inherent genomic plasticity and extreme diversity pose significant challenges for the examination of bacteriophages on Earth. Viral metagenomic studies have offered insight into broader aspects of phage ecology and repeatedly uncover genes to which we are currently unable to assign function. A combined effort of phage isolation and metagenomic survey of Chicago’s nearshore waters of Lake Michigan revealed the presence of Pbunaviruses, relatives of the Pseudomonas phage PB1. This prompted our expansive investigation of PB1-like phages. Genomic signatures of PB1-like phages and Pbunaviruses were identified, permitting the unambiguous distinction between the presence/absence of these phages in soils, freshwater and wastewater samples, as well as publicly available viral metagenomic datasets. This bioinformatic analysis led to the de novo assembly of nine novel PB1-like phage genomes from a metagenomic survey of samples collected from Lake Michigan. While this study finds that Pbunaviruses are abundant in various environments of Northern Illinois, genomic variation also exists to a considerable extent within individual communities.
Project description:Host-like genes are often found in viral genomes. To date, multiple host-like genes involved in photosynthesis and the pentose phosphate pathway have been found in phages of marine cyanobacteria Synechococcus and Prochlorococcus. These gene products are predicted to redirect host metabolism to deoxynucleotide biosynthesis for phage replication while maintaining photosynthesis. A cyanophage, Ma-LMM01, infecting the toxic cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa, was isolated from a eutrophic freshwater lake and assigned as a member of a new lineage of the Myoviridae family. The genome encodes a host-like NblA. Cyanobacterial NblA is known to be involved in the degradation of the major light harvesting complex, the phycobilisomes. Ma-LMM01 nblA gene showed an early expression pattern and was highly transcribed during phage infection. We speculate that the co-option of nblA into Microcystis phages provides a significant fitness advantage to phages by preventing photoinhibition during infection and possibly represents an important part of the co-evolutionary interactions between cyanobacteria and their phages.
Project description:Cyanobacteria are often the dominant phototrophs in polar freshwater communities; yet, the phages that infect them remain unknown. Here, we present a genomic and morphological characterization of cyanophage S-EIV1 that was isolated from freshwaters on Ellesmere Island (Nunavut, High Arctic Canada), and which infects the polar Synechococcus sp., strain PCCC-A2c. S-EIV1 represents a newly discovered evolutionary lineage of bacteriophages whose representatives are widespread in aquatic systems. Among the 130 predicted open reading frames (ORFs) there is no recognizable similarity to genes that encode structural proteins other than the large terminase subunit and a distant viral morphogenesis protein, indicating that the genes encoding the structural proteins of S-EIV1 are distinct from other viruses. As well, only 19 predicted coding sequences on the 79?178?bp circularly permuted genome have homology with genes encoding proteins of known function. Although S-EIV1 is divergent from other sequenced phage isolates, it shares synteny with phage genes captured on a fosmid from the deep-chlorophyll maximum in the Mediterranean Sea, as well as with an incision element in the genome of Anabaena variabilis (ATCC 29413). Sequence recruitment of metagenomic data indicates that S-EIV1-like viruses are cosmopolitan and abundant in a wide range of aquatic systems, suggesting they have an important ecological role.
Project description:Viruses have been suggested to be the largest source of genetic diversity on Earth. Genome sequencing and metagenomic surveys reveal that novel genes with unknown functions are abundant in viral genomes. Yet few observations exist for the processes and frequency by which these genes are gained and lost. The surface waters of marine environments are dominated by marine picocyanobacteria and their co-existing viruses (cyanophages). Recent genome sequencing of cyanophages has revealed a vast array of genes that have been acquired from their cyanobacterial hosts. Here, we re-sequenced the cyanophage S-PM2 genome after 10 years of near continuous passage through its marine Synechococcus host. During this time a spontaneous mutant (S-PM2d) lacking 13% of the S-PM2 ORFs became dominant in the cyanophage population. These ORFs are found at one loci and are not homologous to any proteins in any other sequenced organism (ORFans). We demonstrate a fitness cost to S-PM2WT associated with possession of these ORFs under standard laboratory growth. Metagenomic surveys reveal these ORFs are present in various aquatic environments, are likely of cyanophage origin and appear to be enriched in environments from the extremes of salinity (freshwater and hypersaline). We posit that these ORFs contribute to the flexible gene content of cyanophages and offer a distinct fitness advantage in freshwater and hypersaline environments.
Project description:Podoviruses are among the major viral groups that infect marine picocyanobacteria Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus. Here, we reported the genome sequences of five Synechococcus podoviruses isolated from the estuarine environment, and performed comparative genomic and phylogenomic analyses based on a total of 20 cyanopodovirus genomes. The genomes of all the known marine cyanopodoviruses are highly syntenic. A pan-genome of 349 clustered orthologous groups was determined, among which 15 were core genes. These core genes make up nearly half of each genome in length, reflecting the high level of genome conservation among this cyanophage type. The whole genome phylogenies based on concatenated core genes and gene content were highly consistent and confirmed the separation of two discrete marine cyanopodovirus clusters MPP-A and MPP-B. The genomes within cluster MPP-B grouped into subclusters mainly corresponding to Prochlorococcus or Synechococcus host types. Auxiliary metabolic genes tend to occur in a specific phylogenetic group of these cyanopodoviruses. All the MPP-B phages analyzed here encode the photosynthesis gene psbA, which are absent in all the MPP-A genomes thus far. Interestingly, all the MPP-B and two MPP-A Synechococcus podoviruses encode the thymidylate synthase gene thyX, while at the same genome locus all the MPP-B Prochlorococcus podoviruses encode the transaldolase gene talC. Both genes are hypothesized to have the potential to facilitate the biosynthesis of deoxynucleotide for phage replication. Inheritance of specific functional genes could be important to the evolution and ecological fitness of certain cyanophage genotypes. Our analyses demonstrate that cyanopodoviruses of estuarine and oceanic origins share a conserved core genome and suggest that accessory genes may be related to environmental adaptation.
Project description:Myoviruses and podoviruses that infect cyanobacteria are the two major groups of marine cyanophages, but little is known of how their phylogenetic lineages are distributed in different habitats. In this study, we analyzed the phylogenetic relationships of cyanopodoviruses and cyanomyoviruses based on the existing genomes. The 28 cyanomyoviruses were classified into four clusters (I to IV), and 19 of the 20 cyanopodoviruses were classified into two clusters, MPP-A and MPP-B, with four subclusters within cluster MPP-B. These genomes were used to recruit cyanophage-like fragments from microbial and viral metagenomes to estimate the relative abundances of these cyanophage lineages. Our results showed that cyanopodoviruses and cyanomyoviruses are both abundant in various marine environments and that clusters MPP-B, II and III appear to be the most dominant lineages. Cyanopodoviruses and cluster I and IV cyanomyoviruses exhibited habitat-related variability in their relative levels of abundance, while cluster II and III cyanomyoviruses appeared to be consistently dominant in various habitats. Multivariate analyses showed that reads that mapped to Synechococcus phages and Prochlorococcus phages had distinct distribution patterns that were significantly correlated to those of Synechococcus and Prochlorococcus, respectively. The Mantel test also revealed a strong correlation between the community compositions of cyanophages and picocyanobacteria. Given that cyanomyoviruses tend to have a broad host range and some can cross-infect Synechococcus and Prochlorococcus, while cyanopodoviruses are commonly host specific, the observation that their community compositions both correlated significantly with that of picocyanobacteria was unexpected. Although cyanomyoviruses and cyanopodoviruses differ in host specificity, their biogeographic distributions are likely both constrained by the picocyanobacterial community.
Project description:Bacteriophages of freshwater environments have not been well studied despite their numerical dominance and ecological importance. Currently, very few phages have been isolated for many abundant freshwater bacterial groups, especially for the family Comamonadaceae that is found ubiquitously in freshwater habitats. In this study, we report two novel phages, P26059A and P26059B, that were isolated from Lake Soyang in South Korea, and lytically infected bacterial strain IMCC26059, a member of the family Comamonadaceae. Morphological observations revealed that phages P26059A and P26059B belonged to the family Siphoviridae and Podoviridae, respectively. Of 12 bacterial strains tested, the two phages infected strain IMCC26059 only, showing a very narrow host range. The genomes of the two phages were different in length and highly distinct from each other with little sequence similarity. A comparison of the phage genome sequences and freshwater viral metagenomes showed that the phage populations represented by P26059A and P26059B exist in the environment with different distribution patterns. Presence of the phages in Lake Soyang and Lake Michigan also indicated a consistent lytic infection of the Comamonadaceae bacterium, which might control the population size of this bacterial group. Taken together, although the two phages shared a host strain, they showed completely distinctive characteristics from each other in morphological, genomic, and ecological analyses. Considering the abundance of the family Comamonadaceae in freshwater habitats and the rarity of phage isolates infecting this family, the two phages and their genomes in this study would be valuable resources for freshwater virus research.
Project description:A cyanophage, PaV-LD, has been isolated from harmful filamentous cyanobacterium Planktothrix agardhii in Lake Donghu, a shallow freshwater lake in China. Here, we present the cyanophage's genomic organization and major structural proteins. The genome is a 95,299-bp-long, linear double-stranded DNA and contains 142 potential genes. BLAST searches revealed 29 proteins of known function in cyanophages, cyanobacteria, or bacteria. Thirteen major structural proteins ranging in size from 27 kDa to 172 kDa were identified by SDS-PAGE and mass-spectrometric analysis. The genome lacks major genes that are necessary to the tail structure, and the tailless PaV-LD has been confirmed by an electron microscopy comparison with other tail cyanophages and phages. Phylogenetic analysis of the major capsid proteins also reveals an independent branch of PaV-LD that is quite different from other known tail cyanophages and phages. Moreover, the unique genome carries a nonbleaching protein A (NblA) gene (open reading frame [ORF] 022L), which is present in all phycobilisome-containing organisms and mediates phycobilisome degradation. Western blot detection confirmed that 022L was expressed after PaV-LD infection in the host filamentous cyanobacterium. In addition, its appearance was companied by a significant decline of phycocyanobilin content and a color change of the cyanobacterial cells from blue-green to yellow-green. The biological function of PaV-LD nblA was further confirmed by expression in a model cyanobacterium via an integration platform, by spectroscopic analysis and electron microscopy observation. The data indicate that PaV-LD is an exceptional cyanophage of filamentous cyanobacteria, and this novel cyanophage will also provide us with a new vision of the cyanophage-host interactions.
Project description:Cyanophages are important components of aquatic ecosystems, but their genetic diversity has been little investigated in freshwaters. A yearlong survey was conducted in surface waters of the two largest natural perialpine lakes in France (Lake Annecy and Lake Bourget) to investigate part of this cyanophage diversity through the analysis of both structural (e.g., g20) and functional (e.g., psbA) genes. We found that these cyanophage signature genes were prevalent throughout the year but that the community compositions of g20 cyanomyoviruses were significantly different between the two lakes. In contrast, psbA-containing cyanophages seemed to be more similar between the two ecosystems. We also found that a large proportion of g20 sequences grouped with cyanomyophage isolates. psbA sequences, belonging to phages of Synechococcus spp., were characterized by distinct triplet motifs (with a novel viral triplet motif, EFE). Thus, our results show that cyanophages (i) are a diverse viral community in alpine lakes and (ii) are clearly distinct from some other freshwater and marine environments, suggesting the influence of unique biogeographic factors.