Thermobifida fusca is of biotechnological interest due to its ability to produce an array of plant cell wall hydrolytic enzymes. Nonetheless, only one T. fusca bacteriophage with genome information has been reported to date. This study was aimed at discovering more relevant bacteriophages to expand the existing knowledge of phage diversity for this host species. With this end in view, a thermostable T. fusca bacteriophage P318, which belongs to the Siphoviridae family, was isolated and characterized. P318 has a double-stranded DNA genome of 48,045 base pairs with 3′-extended COS ends, on which 52 putative ORFs are organized into clusters responsible for the order of genome replication, virion morphogenesis, and the regulation of the lytic/lysogenic cycle. In comparison with T. fusca and the previously discovered bacteriophage P1312, P318 has a much lower G+C content in its genome except at the region encompassing ORF42, which produced a protein with unknown function. P1312 and P318 share very few similarities in their genomes except for the regions encompassing ORF42 of P318 and ORF51 of P1312 that are homologous. Thus, acquisition of ORF42 by lateral gene transfer might be an important step in the evolution of P318.
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