ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0026.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Lactobacillus plantarum; phage; new genus; annotation; comparative genomics; phylogenetics; isolation; diversity
Online: 11 June 2019 (09:54:23 CEST)
Lactobacillus plantarum is a bacterium with promising applications to the food industry and agriculture and probiotic properties. So far, bacteriophages of this bacterium have been moderately addressed. We examined the diversity of five new L. plantarum phages via whole genome shotgun sequencing and in silico protein predictions. Moreover, we looked into their phylogeny and their potential genomic similarities to other complete phage genome records through extensive nucleotide and protein comparisons. These analyses revealed a high degree of similarity among the five phages, which extended to the vast majority of predicted virion-associated proteins. Based on these, we selected one of the phages as a representative and performed transmission electron microscopy and structural protein sequencing tests. Overall, the results suggested that the five phages belong to the family Myoviridae, they have a long genome of 137.973-141.344 bp, a G/C content of 36,3-36,6% that is quite distinct from their host’s, and, surprisingly, seven to 15 tRNAs. Only an average 41/174 of their predicted genes were assigned a function. The comparative analyses unraveled considerable genetic diversity for the five L. plantarum phages of this study. Hence, the new genus “Semelevirus” was proposed, which comprises exclusively the five phages. This novel lineage of Lactobacillus phages provides further insight into the genetic heterogeneity of phages infecting Lactobacillus sp.. The five new Lactobacillus phages have a potential value for the development of more robust starters through, for example, the selection of mutants insensitive to phage infections. The five phages could also form part of phage cocktails, which producers would apply in different stages of L. plantarum fermentations in order to create a range of organoleptic outputs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201906.0125.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: isolation; purification; phage; T4; c2; phiX174; phi29
Online: 13 June 2019 (13:33:30 CEST)
The human gut microbiome (GM) plays an important role in human health and diseases. However, while substantial progress has been made in understanding the role of bacterial inhabitants of the gut, much less is known regarding the viral component of the GM. Bacteriophages (phages) are viruses attacking specific host bacteria and likely play important roles in shaping the GM. Although metagenomic approaches have led to the discoveries of many new viruses, they largely remain uncultured as their hosts have not been identified, which hampers our understanding of their biological roles. Existing protocols for isolation of viromes generally require relatively high input volumes and are generally more focused on extracting nucleic acids of good quality and purity for down-stream analysis and less on purification of still infective viruses. Here we report the development of an efficient protocol requiring low sample input yielding purified viromes containing still infective phages which also are of sufficient purity for genome sequencing. We validated the method through spiking of known phages followed by plaque assays, qPCR and metagenomic sequencing. The protocol should facilitate the culturing of novel viruses from the gut as well as large scale studies on gut viromes.