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author:("puri, Mariana")
1.  Generation of Affinity-Tagged Fluoromycobacteriophages by Mixed Assembly of Phage Capsids 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2013;79(18):5608-5615.
Addition of affinity tags to bacteriophage particles facilitates a variety of applications, including vaccine construction and diagnosis of bacterial infections. Addition of tags to phage capsids is desirable, as modification of the tails can lead to poor adsorption and loss of infectivity. Although tags can readily be included as fusions to head decoration proteins, many phages do not have decoration proteins as virion components. The addition of a small (10-amino-acid) Strep-tag II (STAG II) to the mycobacteriophage TM4 capsid subunit, gp9, was not tolerated as a genetically homogenous recombinant phage but could be incorporated into the head by growth of wild-type phage on a host expressing the capsid-STAG fusion. Particles with capsids composed of wild-type and STAG-tagged subunit mixtures could be grown to high titers, showed good infectivities, and could be used to isolate phage-bacterium complexes. Preparation of a STAG-labeled fluoromycobacteriophage enabled capture of bacterial complexes and identification of infected bacteria by fluorescence.
doi:10.1128/AEM.01016-13
PMCID: PMC3754161  PMID: 23851082
2.  Complete Genome Sequences of Lactobacillus Phages J-1 and PL-1 
Genome Announcements  2014;2(1):e00998-13.
Lactobacillus phages J-1 and PL-1 were isolated during the 1960s from abnormal fermentations of Yakult. The genomes are almost identical, but PL-1 has a deletion in the genetic switch region and also differs in a gene coding for a putative tail protein.
doi:10.1128/genomeA.00998-13
PMCID: PMC3879604  PMID: 24385573
3.  Recombineering 
Bacteriophage  2012;2(1):5-14.
Recombineering, a recently developed technique for efficient genetic manipulation of bacteria, is facilitated by phage-derived recombination proteins and has the advantage of using DNA substrates with short regions of homology. This system was first developed in E. coli but has since been adapted for use in other bacteria. It is now widely used in a number of different systems for a variety of purposes, and the construction of chromosomal gene knockouts, deletions, insertions, point mutations, as well as in vivo cloning, mutagenesis of bacterial artificial chromosomes and phasmids, and the construction of genomic libraries has been reported. However, these methods also can be effectively applied to the genetic modification of bacteriophage genomes, in both their prophage and lytically growing states. The ever-growing collection of fully sequenced bacteriophages raises more questions than they answer, including the unknown functions of vast numbers of genes with no known homologs and of unknown function. Recombineering of phage genomes is central to addressing these questions, enabling the simple construction of mutants, determination of gene essentiality, and elucidation of gene function. In turn, advances in our understanding of phage genomics should present similar recombineering tools for dissecting a multitude of other genetically naïve bacterial systems.
doi:10.4161/bact.18778
PMCID: PMC3357384  PMID: 22666652
bacteriophage; BRED; recombineering
4.  Evaluation of Fluoromycobacteriophages for Detecting Drug Resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis▿ 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2011;49(5):1838-1842.
We tested a new method for detecting drug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis that uses a TM4 mycobacteriophage phAE87::hsp60-EGFP (EGFP-phage) engineered to contain the gene encoding enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP). After promising results in preliminary studies, the EGFP-phage was used to detect isoniazid (INH), rifampin (RIF), and streptomycin (STR) resistance in 155 strains of M. tuberculosis, and the results were compared to the resazurin microplate technique, with the proportion method serving as the reference standard. The resazurin technique yielded sensitivities of 94% for INH and RIF and 98% for STR and specificities of 97% for INH, 95% for RIF, and 98% for STR. The sensitivity of EGFP-phage was 94% for all three antibiotics, with specificities of 90% for INH, 93% for RIF, and 95% for STR. The EGFP-phage results were available in 2 days for RIF and STR and in 3 days for INH, with an estimated cost of ∼2$ to test the three antibiotics. Using a more stringent criterion for resistance improved the specificity of the EGFP-phage for INH and RIF without affecting the sensitivity. In preliminary studies, the EGFP-phage could also effectively detect resistance to the fluoroquinolones. The EGFP-phage method has the potential to be a valuable rapid and economic screen for detecting drug-resistant tuberculosis if the procedure can be simplified, if it can be adapted to clinical material, and if its sensitivity can be improved.
doi:10.1128/JCM.02476-10
PMCID: PMC3122682  PMID: 21346042
5.  Cluster K Mycobacteriophages: Insights into the Evolutionary Origins of Mycobacteriophage TM4 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(10):e26750.
Five newly isolated mycobacteriophages –Angelica, CrimD, Adephagia, Anaya, and Pixie – have similar genomic architectures to mycobacteriophage TM4, a previously characterized phage that is widely used in mycobacterial genetics. The nucleotide sequence similarities warrant grouping these into Cluster K, with subdivision into three subclusters: K1, K2, and K3. Although the overall genome architectures of these phages are similar, TM4 appears to have lost at least two segments of its genome, a central region containing the integration apparatus, and a segment at the right end. This suggests that TM4 is a recent derivative of a temperate parent, resolving a long-standing conundrum about its biology, in that it was reportedly recovered from a lysogenic strain of Mycobacterium avium, but it is not capable of forming lysogens in any mycobacterial host. Like TM4, all of the Cluster K phages infect both fast- and slow-growing mycobacteria, and all of them – with the exception of TM4 – form stable lysogens in both Mycobacterium smegmatis and Mycobacterium tuberculosis; immunity assays show that all five of these phages share the same immune specificity. TM4 infects these lysogens suggesting that it was either derived from a heteroimmune temperate parent or that it has acquired a virulent phenotype. We have also characterized a widely-used conditionally replicating derivative of TM4 and identified mutations conferring the temperature-sensitive phenotype. All of the Cluster K phages contain a series of well conserved 13 bp repeats associated with the translation initiation sites of a subset of the genes; approximately one half of these contain an additional sequence feature composed of imperfectly conserved 17 bp inverted repeats separated by a variable spacer. The K1 phages integrate into the host tmRNA and the Cluster K phages represent potential new tools for the genetics of M. tuberculosis and related species.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0026750
PMCID: PMC3203893  PMID: 22053209
6.  Fluoromycobacteriophages for Rapid, Specific, and Sensitive Antibiotic Susceptibility Testing of Mycobacterium tuberculosis 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(3):e4870.
Rapid antibiotic susceptibility testing of Mycobacterium tuberculosis is of paramount importance as multiple- and extensively- drug resistant strains of M. tuberculosis emerge and spread. We describe here a virus-based assay in which fluoromycobacteriophages are used to deliver a GFP or ZsYellow fluorescent marker gene to M. tuberculosis, which can then be monitored by fluorescent detection approaches including fluorescent microscopy and flow cytometry. Pre-clinical evaluations show that addition of either Rifampicin or Streptomycin at the time of phage addition obliterates fluorescence in susceptible cells but not in isogenic resistant bacteria enabling drug sensitivity determination in less than 24 hours. Detection requires no substrate addition, fewer than 100 cells can be identified, and resistant bacteria can be detected within mixed populations. Fluorescence withstands fixation by paraformaldehyde providing enhanced biosafety for testing MDR-TB and XDR-TB infections.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0004870
PMCID: PMC2654538  PMID: 19300517
7.  BRED: A Simple and Powerful Tool for Constructing Mutant and Recombinant Bacteriophage Genomes 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(12):e3957.
Advances in DNA sequencing technology have facilitated the determination of hundreds of complete genome sequences both for bacteria and their bacteriophages. Some of these bacteria have well-developed and facile genetic systems for constructing mutants to determine gene function, and recombineering is a particularly effective tool. However, generally applicable methods for constructing defined mutants of bacteriophages are poorly developed, in part because of the inability to use selectable markers such as drug resistance genes during viral lytic growth. Here we describe a method for simple and effective directed mutagenesis of bacteriophage genomes using Bacteriophage Recombineering of Electroporated DNA (BRED), in which a highly efficient recombineering system is utilized directly on electroporated phage DNA; no selection is required and mutants can be readily detected by PCR. We describe the use of BRED to construct unmarked gene deletions, in-frame internal deletions, base substitutions, precise gene replacements, and the addition of gene tags.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0003957
PMCID: PMC2597740  PMID: 19088849
8.  A peptidoglycan hydrolase motif within the mycobacteriophage TM4 tape measure protein promotes efficient infection of stationary phase cells 
Molecular Microbiology  2006;62(6):1569-1585.
The predominant morphotype of mycobacteriophage virions has a DNA-containing capsid attached to a long flexible non-contractile tail, features characteristic of the Siphoviridae. Within these phage genomes the tape measure protein (tmp) gene can be readily identified due to the well-established relationship between the length of the gene and the length of the phage tail – because these phages typically have long tails, the tmp gene is usually the largest gene in the genome. Many of these mycobacteriophage Tmp's contain small motifs with sequence similarity to host proteins. One of these motifs (motif 1) corresponds to the Rpf proteins that have lysozyme activity and function to stimulate growth of dormant bacteria, while the others (motifs 2 and 3) are related to proteins of unknown function, although some of the related proteins of the host are predicted to be involved in cell wall catabolism. We show here that motif 3-containing proteins have peptidoglycan-hydrolysing activity and that while this activity is not required for phage viability, it facilitates efficient infection and DNA injection into stationary phase cells. Tmp's of mycobacteriophages may thus have acquired these motifs in order to avoid a selective disadvantage that results from changes in peptidoglycan in non-growing cells.
doi:10.1111/j.1365-2958.2006.05473.x
PMCID: PMC1796659  PMID: 17083467

Results 1-8 (8)