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Viruses 2014, 6(7), 2623-2672; doi:10.3390/v6072623

Phages Preying on Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus thuringiensis: Past, Present and Future

Laboratory of Food and Environmental Microbiology, Université catholique de Louvain, Croix du Sud 2, L7.05.12, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
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Received: 4 March 2014 / Revised: 19 May 2014 / Accepted: 18 June 2014 / Published: 9 July 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Viruses)
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Abstract

Many bacteriophages (phages) have been widely studied due to their major role in virulence evolution of bacterial pathogens. However, less attention has been paid to phages preying on bacteria from the Bacillus cereus group and their contribution to the bacterial genetic pool has been disregarded. Therefore, this review brings together the main information for the B. cereus group phages, from their discovery to their modern biotechnological applications. A special focus is given to phages infecting Bacillus anthracis, B. cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis. These phages belong to the Myoviridae, Siphoviridae, Podoviridae and Tectiviridae families. For the sake of clarity, several phage categories have been made according to significant characteristics such as lifestyles and lysogenic states. The main categories comprise the transducing phages, phages with a chromosomal or plasmidial prophage state, γ-like phages and jumbo-phages. The current genomic characterization of some of these phages is also addressed throughout this work and some promising applications are discussed here. View Full-Text
Keywords: (bacterio)phages; Bacillus cereus group; Bacillus anthracis; Bacillus thuringiensis; transducing phages; chromosomal prophages; plasmidial prophages; jumbo-phages; Gamma-like phages (bacterio)phages; Bacillus cereus group; Bacillus anthracis; Bacillus thuringiensis; transducing phages; chromosomal prophages; plasmidial prophages; jumbo-phages; Gamma-like phages
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Gillis, A.; Mahillon, J. Phages Preying on Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus thuringiensis: Past, Present and Future. Viruses 2014, 6, 2623-2672.

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