An OmpW-dependent T4-like phage infects Serratia sp. ATCC 39006

Marina Mahler, Lucia M. Malone, Daan F. van den Berg, Leah M. Smith, Stan J.J. Brouns, Peter C. Fineran

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Serratia sp. ATCC 39006 is a Gram-negative bacterium that has been used to study the function of phage defences, such as CRISPR-Cas, and phage counter-defence mechanisms. To expand our phage collection to study the phage-host interaction with Serratia sp. ATCC 39006, we isolated the T4-like myovirus LC53 in Ōtepoti Dunedin, Aotearoa New Zealand. Morphological, phenotypic and genomic characterization revealed that LC53 is virulent and similar to other Serratia, Erwinia and Kosakonia phages belonging to the genus Winklervirus. Using a transposon mutant library, we identified the host ompW gene as essential for phage infection, suggesting that it encodes the phage receptor. The genome of LC53 encodes all the characteristic T4-like core proteins involved in phage DNA replication and generation of viral particles. Furthermore, our bioinformatic analysis suggests that the transcriptional organization of LC53 is similar to that of Escherichia coli phage T4. Importantly, LC53 encodes 18 tRNAs, which likely compensate for differences in GC content between phage and host genomes. Overall, this study describes a newly isolated phage infecting Serratia sp. ATCC 39006 that expands the diversity of phages available to study phage-host interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number000968
Number of pages13
JournalMicrobial Genomics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • phage genome
  • Serratia sp. ATCC39006 phage
  • T4-like
  • Winklervirus


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