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Isolation, Characterization and Genome Analysis of a Novel Virulent Escherichia coli Bacteriophage vB_EcoM_011D4

Xinwu Wang 1 , Hao Zhang 1 , Lanting Bi 1 , Hengyu Xi 1 , Zijing Wang 1 , Yalu Ji 1 , Xiao Liu, Rihong Zhao 1 , Ming Liu 1 , Meimei Zhang 1 , Chunzheng Huang, Hongda Ou, Wenyu Han 1,2 , Jingmin Gu 1,4 , Jianbao Dong 3 and Wei Zhu 3*

1 Key Laboratory of Zoonosis Research, Ministry of Education, College of Veterinary Medicine, Jilin University, Changchun 130062, P.R. China; 2 Jiangsu Co-Innovation Center for the Prevention and Control of Important Animal Infectious Disease and Zoonose, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou 225009, P.R. China; 3 Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center, Fudan University, Shanghai 201508, P.R. China;
4 Department of Veterinary Medical Science, Shandong Vocational Animal Science and Veterinary College, Weifang 261061, P.R. China
*Corresponding author:

Phage therapy is a promising alternative therapy for the treatment of E. coli infection. Although the total number of phages on the earth is as high as 10 31 , the reported phages and thoroughly studied are very limited. Therefore, the continuous discovery of new phages and in-depth research will provide materials for the wide application of phage therapy in the future. In this study, a novel E. coli phage vB_EcoM_011D4 was isolated from sewage samples, and the biological characteristics were studied. Electron microscopy and homology analysis results showed that vB_EcoM_011D4 belongs to the family Myoviridae. One-step growth curve showing the latent period of vB_EcoM_011D4 was 10 min, with the burst size of 115 PFU/cell. Additionally, Phage vB_EcoM_011D4 was highly stabled under different temperatures (range 4 – 70 ℃) and pH conditions (range 6 – 10). At the same time, its genome was subjected to high-throughput sequencing and compared with the reported phages. The results of high-throughput sequencing assembly showed that vB_EcoM_011D4 is a linear, double-stranded DNA virus containing 163764 bp, with an average GC content of 40.50%, and a total of 273 open reading frames (ORFs). Genomic comparison analysis revealed that most of the ORFs were similar to Enterobacteria phage Phi1 and RB49. However, ORF147 and ORF148 putative DNA methylase family protein is less than 67% homology with already published phages. In addition, the phylogenetic analysis of terminates large subunit showed that it belongs to a new branch and shows less than 50 similarities to reported phages. There is no lysogenic, toxin or antibiotic-resistant related gene was found in the genome of vB_EcoM_011D4. In summary, vB_EcoM_011D4 is a newly discovered phage, which can be further studied for elucidating the phage diversity and it is benefits for the wide application of phage therapy.

Keywords: Escherichia coli; Opportunistic pathogen; Phage; Genome analysis

How to cite this article: 
Wang X, Zhang H, Bi L, Xi H, Wang Z, Ji Y, Liu X, Zhao R, Liu M, Zhang M, Huang CZ, Ou H, Han W, Gu JM, Dong JB and Zhu W, 2021. Isolation, Characterization and Genome Analysis of a Novel Virulent Escherichia coli Bacteriophage vB_EcoM_011D4.
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