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American Society for Microbiology


Modern sequencing technologies have provided insight into the genetic diversity of numerous species, including the human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Bacterial genomes often harbor bacteriophage genomes (prophages), which can account for upwards of 20% of the genome. Prior studies have found P. aeruginosa prophages that contribute to their host’s pathogenicity and fitness. These advantages come in many different forms, including the production of toxins, promotion of biofilm formation, and displacement of other P. aeruginosa strains. While several different genera and species of P. aeruginosa prophages have been studied, there has not been a comprehensive study of the overall diversity of P. aeruginosa-infecting prophages. Here, we present the results of just such an analysis. A total of 6,852 high-confidence prophages were identified from 5,383 P. aeruginosa genomes from strains isolated from the human body and other environments. In total, 3,201 unique prophage sequences were identified. While 53.1% of these prophage sequences displayed sequence similarity to publicly available phage genomes, novel and highly mosaic prophages were discovered. Among these prophages, there is extensive diversity, including diversity within the functionally conserved integrase and C repressor coding regions, two genes responsible for prophage entering and persisting through the lysogenic life cycle. Analysis of integrase, C repressor, and terminase coding regions revealed extensive reassortment among P. aeruginosa prophages. This catalog of P. aeruginosa prophages provides a resource for future studies into the evolution of the species.


Author Posting © The Authors, 2022. This article is posted here by permission of the American Society for Microbiology for personal use, not for redistribution. The article was published in mSphere, Volume 7, Issue 1, February 2022,

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