UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Diversity and Host Specificity Revealed by Biological Characterization and Whole Genome Sequencing of Bacteriophages Infecting Salmonella enterica Fong, Karen; Tremblay, Denise M.; Delaquis, Pascal; Goodridge, Lawrence; Levesque, Roger C.; Moineau, Sylvain; Suttle, Curtis A.; Wang, Siyun


Phages infecting members of the opportunistic human pathogen, Salmonella enterica, are widespread in natural environments and o er a potential source of agents that could be used for controlling populations of this bacterium; yet, relatively little is known about these phages. Here we describe the isolation and characterization of 45 phages of Salmonella enterica from disparate geographic locations within British Columbia, Canada. Host-range profiling revealed host-specific patterns of susceptibility and resistance, with several phages identified that have a broad-host range (i.e., able to lyse >40% of bacterial hosts tested). One phage in particular, SE13, is able to lyse 51 out of the 61 Salmonella strains tested. Comparative genomic analyses also revealed an abundance of sequence diversity in the sequenced phages. Alignment of the genomes grouped the phages into 12 clusters with three singletons. Phages within certain clusters exhibited extraordinarily high genome homology (>98% nucleotide identity), yet between clusters, genomes exhibited a span of diversity (<50% nucleotide identity). Alignment of the major capsid protein also supported the clustering pattern observed with alignment of the whole genomes. We further observed associations between genomic relatedness and the site of isolation, as well as genetic elements related to DNA metabolism and host virulence. Our data support the knowledge framework for phage diversity and phage–host interactions that are required for developing phage-based applications for various sectors, including biocontrol, detection and typing.

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