Beyond Cholera: Characterization of zot-Encoding Filamentous Phages in the Marine Fish Pathogen Vibrio anguillarum

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Zonula occludens toxin (Zot) is a conserved protein in filamentous vibriophages and has been reported as a putative toxin inVibrio cholerae. Recently, widespread distribution ofzot-encoding prophages was found among marineVibriospecies, including environmental isolates. However, little is known about the dynamics of these prophages beyondV. cholerae. In this study, we characterized and quantified thezot-encoding filamentous phage VAI phi, spontaneously induced from the fish pathogenV. anguillarum. VAI phi contained 6117 bp encoding 11 ORFs, including ORF8(pVAI), exhibiting 27%-73% amino acid identity toInovirusZot-like proteins. A qPCR method revealed an average of four VAI phi genomes per host genome during host exponential growth phase, and PCR demonstrated dissemination of induced VAI phi to otherV. anguillarumstrains through re-integration in non-lysogens. VAI phi integrated into both chromosomes ofV. anguillarumby recombination, causing changes in a putative ORF in the phage genome. Phylogenetic analysis of theV. anguillarumInoviridaeelements revealed mosaic genome structures related to mainlyV. cholerae. Altogether, this study contributes to the understanding ofInovirusinfection dynamics and mobilization ofzot-like genes beyond human pathogenic vibrios, and discusses their potential role in the evolution of the fish pathogenV. anguillarum.

Original languageEnglish
Article number730
Issue number7
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • filamentous phage, Vibrio anguillarum, zot, horizontal gene transfer, marine environment, ZONULA OCCLUDENS TOXIN, VIBRIO-CHOLERAE, GENOMIC SEQUENCE, VGJ-PHI, BACTERIOPHAGE, CTX, INTEGRATION, IDENTIFICATION, RECEPTOR, PREDICTION

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