Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Evidence for the intense exchange of MazG in marine cyanophages by horizontal gene transfer

By Michael J. Bryan, Nigel John Burroughs, Edward M. Spence, Martha R. J. Clokie, Nicholas H. Mann and Samantha J. Bryan


Background: S-PM2 is a phage capable of infecting strains of unicellular cyanobacteria belonging to the genus Synechococcus. S-PM2, like other myoviruses infecting marine cyanobacteria, encodes a number of bacterial-like genes. Amongst these genes is one encoding a MazG homologue that is hypothesized to be involved in the adaption of the infected host for production of progeny phage.\ud \ud Methodology/Principal Findings: This study focuses on establishing the occurrence of mazG homologues in other cyanophages isolated from different oceanic locations. Degenerate PCR primers were designed using the mazG gene of S-PM2. The mazG gene was found to be widely distributed and highly conserved among Synechococcus myoviruses and podoviruses from diverse oceanic provinces.\ud \ud Conclusions/Significance: This study provides evidence of a globally connected cyanophage gene pool, the cyanophage mazG gene having a small effective population size indicative of rapid lateral gene transfer despite being present in a substantial fraction of cyanophage. The Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus phage mazG genes do not cluster with the host mazG gene, suggesting that their primary hosts are not the source of the mazG gene

Topics: QR355
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Year: 2008
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (1981). Accumulation of guanosine tetraphosphate (ppGpp) under nitrogen starvation in Anacystis nidulans, a cyanobacterium. doi
  2. (1980). Bacteriophage infection interferes with guanosine 39-diphosphate-59-diphosphate accumulation induced by energy and nitrogen starvation in the cyanobacterium Anacystis nidulans.
  3. (2006). Community genomics among stratified microbial assemblages in the ocean’s interior. doi
  4. (2004). Cyanophage infection and photoinhibition in marine cyanobacteria. doi
  5. (1999). Evolutionary relationships among diverse bacteriophages and prophages: All the world’s a phage. doi
  6. (2006). Global distribution of nearly identical phage-encoded DNA sequences (vol 236, pg 249, doi
  7. (2006). House cleaning, a part of good housekeeping. doi
  8. (1992). Inference from iterative simulation using multiple sequences. doi
  9. (1981). Isolation and development of chlorosomes in the green bacterium Chloroflexus aurantiacus.
  10. (2006). Marine cyanophages and light. doi
  11. (2006). MazG - a regulator of programmed cell death in Escherichia coli. doi
  12. (2005). Nearly identical bacteriophage structural gene sequences are widely distributed in both marine and freshwater environments. doi
  13. (2007). Nutritional control of elongation of DNA replication by (p)ppGpp. doi
  14. (1998). Occurrence of a sequence in marine cyanophages similar to that of T4 g20 and its application to PCR-based detection and quantification techniques.
  15. (2003). Phages of the marine cyanobacterial picophytoplankton. doi
  16. (2005). ppGpp: a global regulator in Escherichia coli. doi
  17. (2004). Prevalence of the Chloroflexi-related SAR202 bacterioplankton cluster throughout the mesopelagic zone and deep ocean. doi
  18. (1975). RNA synthesis and the accumulation of guanine nucleotides during growth shift down in the blue-green alga Anacystis nidulans. doi
  19. (2005). The genome of S-PM2, a ‘‘photosynthetic’’ T4-type bacteriophage that infects marine Synechococcus strains. doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.