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Open AccessArticle

Isolation and Characterization T4- and T7-Like Phages that Infect the Bacterial Plant Pathogen Agrobacterium tumefaciens

Division of Biological Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Present address: Department of Pathology, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA.
Viruses 2019, 11(6), 528;
Received: 6 May 2019 / Revised: 29 May 2019 / Accepted: 4 June 2019 / Published: 7 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Evolution of Phage Genomes)
PDF [3188 KB, uploaded 7 June 2019]


In the rhizosphere, bacteria–phage interactions are likely to have important impacts on the ecology of microbial communities and microbe–plant interactions. To better understand the dynamics of Agrobacteria–phage interactions, we have isolated diverse bacteriophages which infect the bacterial plant pathogen, Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Here, we complete the genomic characterization of Agrobacterium tumefaciens phages Atu_ph04 and Atu_ph08. Atu_ph04—a T4-like phage belonging to the Myoviridae family—was isolated from waste water and has a 143,349 bp genome that encodes 223 predicted open reading frames (ORFs). Based on phylogenetic analysis and whole-genome alignments, Atu_ph04 is a member of a newly described T4 superfamily that contains other Rhizobiales-infecting phages. Atu_ph08, a member of the Podoviridae T7-like family, was isolated from waste water, has a 59,034 bp genome, and encodes 75 ORFs. Based on phylogenetic analysis and whole-genome alignments, Atu_ph08 may form a new T7 superfamily which includes Sinorhizobium phage PCB5 and Ochrobactrum phage POI1126. Atu_ph08 is predicted to have lysogenic activity, as we found evidence of an integrase and several transcriptional repressors with similarity to proteins in transducing phage P22. Together, this data suggests that Agrobacterium phages are diverse in morphology, genomic content, and lifestyle. View Full-Text
Keywords: Agrobacterium tumefaciens; bacteriophage; phage; biocontrol Agrobacterium tumefaciens; bacteriophage; phage; biocontrol

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Attai, H.; Brown, P.J. Isolation and Characterization T4- and T7-Like Phages that Infect the Bacterial Plant Pathogen Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Viruses 2019, 11, 528.

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