We report the genome organization and analysis of the first completely sequenced T4-like phage, AR1, of Escherichia coli O157:H7. Unlike most of the other sequenced phages of O157:H7, which belong to the temperate Podoviridae and Siphoviridae families, AR1 is a T4-like phage known to efficiently infect this pathogenic bacterial strain. The 167,435-bp AR1 genome is currently the largest among all the sequenced E. coli O157:H7 phages. It carries a total of 281 potential open reading frames (ORFs) and 10 putative tRNA genes. Of these, 126 predicted proteins could be classified into six viral orthologous group categories, with at least 18 proteins of the structural protein category having been detected by tandem mass spectrometry. Comparative genomic analysis of AR1 and four other completely sequenced T4-like genomes (RB32, RB69, T4, and JS98) indicated that they share a well-organized and highly conserved core genome, particularly in the regions encoding DNA replication and virion structural proteins. The major diverse features between these phages include the modules of distal tail fibers and the types and numbers of internal proteins, tRNA genes, and mobile elements. Codon usage analysis suggested that the presence of AR1-encoded tRNAs may be relevant to the codon usage of structural proteins. Furthermore, protein sequence analysis of AR1 gp37, a potential receptor binding protein, indicated that eight residues in the C terminus are unique to O157:H7 T4-like phages AR1 and PP01. These residues are known to be located in the T4 receptor recognition domain, and they may contribute to specificity for adsorption to the O157:H7 strain.
ASJC Scopus subject areas