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Isolation and Characterization of a Shewanella Phage–Host System from the Gut of the Tunicate, Ciona intestinalis

College of Marine Science, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, FL 33701, USA
Department of Pediatrics, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, FL 33701, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Mathias Middelboe and Corina P. D. Brussaard
Viruses 2017, 9(3), 60;
Received: 29 January 2017 / Revised: 8 March 2017 / Accepted: 17 March 2017 / Published: 22 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Viruses 2016)
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Outnumbering all other biological entities on earth, bacteriophages (phages) play critical roles in structuring microbial communities through bacterial infection and subsequent lysis, as well as through horizontal gene transfer. While numerous studies have examined the effects of phages on free-living bacterial cells, much less is known regarding the role of phage infection in host-associated biofilms, which help to stabilize adherent microbial communities. Here we report the cultivation and characterization of a novel strain of Shewanella fidelis from the gut of the marine tunicate Ciona intestinalis, inducible prophages from the S. fidelis genome, and a strain-specific lytic phage recovered from surrounding seawater. In vitro biofilm assays demonstrated that lytic phage infection affects biofilm formation in a process likely influenced by the accumulation and integration of the extracellular DNA released during cell lysis, similar to the mechanism that has been previously shown for prophage induction. View Full-Text
Keywords: Shewanella; bacteriophage; biofilm; extracellular DNA Shewanella; bacteriophage; biofilm; extracellular DNA

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Leigh, B.; Karrer, C.; Cannon, J.P.; Breitbart, M.; Dishaw, L.J. Isolation and Characterization of a Shewanella Phage–Host System from the Gut of the Tunicate, Ciona intestinalis. Viruses 2017, 9, 60.

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