Section: Genomics
Topic: Genetics/Genomics, Microbiology

Evidence for shared ancestry between Actinobacteria and Firmicutes bacteriophages

10.24072/pcjournal.25 - Peer Community Journal, Volume 1 (2021), article no. e16.

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Bacteriophages typically infect a small set of related bacterial strains. The transfer of bacteriophages between more distant clades of bacteria has often been postulated, but remains mostly unaddressed. In this work we leverage the sequencing of a novel cluster of phages infecting Streptomyces bacteria and the availability of large numbers of complete phage genomes in public repositories to address this question. Using phylogenetic and comparative genomics methods, we show that several clusters of Actinobacteria-infecting phages are more closely related between them, and with a small group of Firmicutes phages, than with any other actinobacteriophage lineage. These data indicate that this heterogeneous group of phages shares a common ancestor with well-defined genome structure. Analysis of genomic %GC content and codon usage bias shows that these actinobacteriophages are poorly adapted to their Actinobacteria hosts, suggesting that this phage lineage could have originated in an ancestor of the Firmicutes, adapted to the low %GC content members of this phylum, and later migrated to the Actinobacteria, or that selective pressure for enhanced translational throughput is significantly lower for phages infecting Actinobacteria hosts.

Published online:
DOI: 10.24072/pcjournal.25
Type: Research article

Koert, Matthew 1; López-Pérez, Júlia 2; Mattson, Courtney 1; Caruso, Steven 1; Erill, Ivan 2, 1

1 Department of Biological Sciences, University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), Baltimore, MD (USA)
2 Departament de Genètica i Microbiologia, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Spain
License: CC-BY 4.0
Copyrights: The authors retain unrestricted copyrights and publishing rights
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     title = {Evidence for shared ancestry between {Actinobacteria} and {Firmicutes} bacteriophages},
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%A López-Pérez, Júlia
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%T Evidence for shared ancestry between Actinobacteria and Firmicutes bacteriophages
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Koert, Matthew; López-Pérez, Júlia; Mattson, Courtney; Caruso, Steven; Erill, Ivan. Evidence for shared ancestry between Actinobacteria and Firmicutes bacteriophages. Peer Community Journal, Volume 1 (2021), article  no. e16. doi : 10.24072/pcjournal.25.

PCI peer reviews and recommendation, and links to data, scripts, code and supplementary information: 10.24072/pci.genomics.100003

Conflict of interest of the recommender and peer reviewers:
The recommender in charge of the evaluation of the article and the reviewers declared that they have no conflict of interest (as defined in the code of conduct of PCI) with the authors or with the content of the article.

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