PY100 is a lytic bacteriophage with a broad host range within the genus Yersinia. The phage forms plaques on strains of the three human pathogenic species Yersinia enterocolitica, Y. pseudotuberculosis, and Y. pestis at 37 degrees C. PY100 was isolated from farm manure and intended to be used in phage therapy trials. PY100 has an icosahedral capsid containing double-stranded DNA and a contractile tail. The genome consists of 50,291 bp and is predicted to contain 93 open reading frames (ORFs). PY100 gene products were found to be homologous to the capsid proteins and proteins involved in DNA metabolism of the enterobacterial phage T1; PY100 tail proteins possess homologies to putative tail proteins of phage AaPhi23 of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans. In a proteome analysis of virion particles, 15 proteins of the head and tail structures were identified by mass spectrometry. The putative gene product of ORF2 of PY100 shows significant homology to the gene 3 product (small terminase subunit) of Salmonella phage P22 that is involved in packaging of the concatemeric phage DNA. The packaging mechanism of PY100 was analyzed by hybridization and sequence analysis of DNA isolated from virion particles. Newly replicated PY100 DNA is cut initially at a pac recognition site, which is located in the coding region of ORF2.