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1.  Islands of non-essential genes, including a DNA translocation operon, in the genome of bacteriophage 0305ϕ8-36 
Bacteriophage  2012;2(1):25-35.
We investigate genes of lytic, Bacillus thuringiensis bacteriophage 0305ϕ8-36 that are non-essential for laboratory propagation, but might have a function in the wild. We isolate deletion mutants to identify these genes. The non-permutation of the genome (218.948 Kb, with a 6.479 Kb terminal repeat and 247 identified orfs) simplifies isolation of deletion mutants. We find two islands of non-essential genes. The first island (3.01% of the genomic DNA) has an informatically identified DNA translocation operon. Deletion causes no detectable growth defect during propagation in a dilute agarose overlay. Identification of the DNA translocation operon begins with a DNA relaxase and continues with a translocase and membrane-binding anchor proteins. The relaxase is in a family, first identified here, with homologs in other bacteriophages. The second deleted island (3.71% of the genome) has genes for two metallo-protein chaperonins and two tRNAs. Deletion causes a significant growth defect. In addition, (1) we find by “in situ” (in-plaque) single-particle fluorescence microscopy that adsorption to the host occurs at the tip of the 486 nm long tail, (2) we develop a procedure of 0305ϕ8-36 purification that does not cause tail contraction, and (3) we then find by electron microscopy that 0305ϕ8-36 undergoes tail tip-tail tip dimerization that potentially blocks adsorption to host cells, presumably with effectiveness that increases as the bacteriophage particle concentration increases. These observations provide an explanation of the previous observation that 0305ϕ8-36 does not lyse liquid cultures, even though 0305ϕ8-36 is genomically lytic.
doi:10.4161/bact.19546
PMCID: PMC3357382  PMID: 22666654
bacteriophage; deletion mutant; DNA sequencing; electron microscopy; fluorescence microscopy; informatics; long-genome; microbial biofilm
2.  Complete Genomic Sequence and Mass Spectrometric Analysis of Highly Diverse, Atypical Bacillus thuringiensis phage 0305φ8-36 
Virology  2007;368(2):405-421.
To investigate the apparent genomic complexity of long-genome bacteriophages, we have sequenced the 218,948-bp genome (6479 bp terminal repeat), and identified the virion proteins (55), of Bacillus thuringiensis bacteriophage 0305φ8-36. Phage 0305φ8-36 is an atypical myovirus with three large curly tail fibers. An accurate mode of DNA pyrosequencing was used to sequence the genome and mass spectrometry was used to accomplish the comprehensive virion protein survey. Advanced informatic techniques were used to identify classical morphogenesis genes. The 0305φ8-36 genes were highly diverged; 19% of 247 closely spaced genes have similarity to proteins with known functions. Genes for virion-associated, apparently fibrous proteins in a new class were found, in addition to strong candidates for the curly fiber genes. Phage 0305φ8-36 has twice the virion protein coding sequence of T4. Based on its genomic isolation, 0305φ8-36 is a resource for future studies of vertical gene transmission.
doi:10.1016/j.virol.2007.06.043
PMCID: PMC2171028  PMID: 17673272
myovirus; Bacillus thuringiensis; pyrosequencing; virion protein; mass spectrometry
3.  Aggregates of bacteriophage 0305φ8-36 seed future growth 
Virology Journal  2007;4:131.
Lytic bacteriophage 0305φ8-36 forms visually observed aggregates during plaque formation. Aggregates intrinsically lower propagation potential. In the present study, the following observations indicate that lost propagation potential is regained with time: (1) Aggregates sometimes concentrate at the edge of clear plaques. (2) A semi-clear ring sometimes forms beyond the plaques. (3) Formation of a ring is completely correlated with the presence of aggregates at the same angular displacement along the plaque edge. To explain this aggregate-derived lowering/raising of propagation potential, the following hypothesis is presented: Aggregation/dissociation of bacteriophage of 0305φ8-36 is a selected phenomenon that evolved to maintain high host finding rate in a trade-off with maintaining high rate of bacteriophage progeny production. This hypothesis explains ringed plaque morphology observed for other bacteriophages and predicts that aggregates will undergo time-dependent change in structure as propagation potential increases. In support, fluorescence microscopy reveals time-dependent change in the distance between resolution-limited particles in aggregates.
doi:10.1186/1743-422X-4-131
PMCID: PMC2222632  PMID: 18053210

Results 1-3 (3)