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Isolation and Molecular Characterization of Five Marine Cyanophages Propagated on Synechococcus sp. Strain WH7803

  • William H. Wilson
  • Ian R. Joint
  • Noel G. Carr
  • Nicholas H. Mann
Publication Date
Nov 01, 1993
  • Biology
  • Earth Science
  • Geography


Five marine cyanophages propagated on Synechococcus sp. strain WH7803 were isolated from three different oceanographic provinces during the months of August and September 1992: coastal water from the Sargasso Sea, Bermuda; Woods Hole harbor, Woods Hole, Mass.; and coastal water from the English Channel, off Plymouth Sound, United Kingdom. The five cyanophage isolates were found to belong to two families, Myoviridae and Styloviridae, on the basis of their morphology observed in the transmission electron microscope. DNA purified from each of the cyanophage isolates was restricted with a selection of restriction endonucleases, and three distinguishably different patterns were observed. DNA isolated from Myoviridae isolates from Bermuda and the English Channel had highly related restriction patterns, as did DNA isolated from Styloviridae isolates from Bermuda and the English Channel. DNA isolated from the Myoviridae isolate from Woods Hole had a unique restriction pattern. The genome size for each of the Myoviridae isolates was ca. 80 to 85 kb, and it was ca. 90 to 100 kb for each of the Styloviridae isolates. Southern blotting analysis revealed that there was a limited degree of homology among all cyanophage DNAs probed, but clear differences were observed between cyanophage DNA from the Myoviridae and that from the Styloviridae isolates. Polypeptide analysis revealed a clear difference between Myoviridae and Styloviridae polypeptide profiles, although the major, presumably structural, protein in each case was ca. 53 to 54 kDa.

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