YerA41, a Yersinia ruckeri Bacteriophage: Determination of a Non-Sequencable DNA Bacteriophage Genome via RNA-Sequencing

Katarzyna Leskinen, Maria I. Pajunen, Miguel Vincente Gomez-Raya Vilanova, Saija Kiljunen, Andrew Nelson, Darren Smith, Mikael Skurnik

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Abstract

YerA41 is a Myoviridae bacteriophage that was originally isolated due its ability to infect Yersinia ruckeri bacteria, the causative agent of enteric redmouth disease of salmonid fish. Several attempts to determine its genomic DNA sequence using traditional and next generation sequencing technologies failed, indicating that the phage genome is modified in such a way that it is an unsuitable template for PCR amplification and for conventional sequencing. To determine the YerA41 genome sequence, we performed RNA-sequencing from phage-infected Y. ruckeri cells at different time points post-infection. The host-genome specific reads were subtracted and de novo assembly was performed on the remaining unaligned reads. This resulted in nine phage-specific scaffolds with a total length of 143 kb that shared only low level and scattered identity to known sequences deposited in DNA databases. Annotation of the sequences revealed 201 predicted genes, most of which found no homologs in the databases. Proteome studies identified altogether 63 phage particle-associated proteins. The RNA-sequencing data were used to characterize the transcriptional control of YerA41 and to investigate its impact on the bacterial gene expression. Overall, our results indicate that RNA-sequencing can be successfully used to obtain the genomic sequence of non-sequencable phages, providing simultaneous information about the phage–host interactions during the process of infection.
Original languageEnglish
Article number620
JournalViruses
Volume12
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2020

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