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This study describes a novel transposable bacteriophage, ɸSHP3, continuously released by Stenotrophomonas maltophilia strain c31. Morphological observation and genomic analysis revealed that ɸSHP3 is a siphovirus with a 37,611-bp genome that encodes 51 putative proteins. Genomic comparisons indicated that ɸSHP3 is a B3-like transposable phage. Its genome configuration is similar to that of Pseudomonas phage B3, except for the DNA modification module. Similar to B3-like phages, the putative transposase B of ɸSHP3 is a homolog of the type two secretion component ExeA, which is proposed to serve as a potential virulence factor. Moreover, most proteins of ɸSHP3 have homologs in transposable phages, but only ɸSHP3 carries an RdgC-like protein encoded by gene 3, which exhibits exonuclease activity in vitro Two genes and their promoters coding for ɸSHP3 regulatory proteins were identified and appear to control the lytic-lysogenic switch. One of the proteins represses one promoter activity and confers immunity to ɸSHP3 superinfection in vivo The short regulatory region, in addition to the canonical bacterial promoter sequences, displays one LexA and two CpxR recognition sequences. This suggests that LexA and the CpxR/CpxA two-component system might be involved in the control of the ɸSHP3 genetic switch.IMPORTANCE S. maltophilia is an emerging global pathogenic bacterium that displays genetic diversity in both environmental and clinical strains. Transposable phages have long been known to improve the genetic diversity of bacterial strains by transposition. More than a dozen phages of S. maltophilia have been characterized. However, no transposable phage infecting S. maltophilia has been reported to date. Characterization of the first transposable phage, ɸSHP3, from S. maltophilia will contribute to our understanding of host-phage interactions and genetic diversity, especially the interchange of genetic materials among S. maltophilia. Copyright © 2021 American Society for Microbiology.


Huiming Wu, Yucen Zhang, Ye Jiang, Han Wu, Wen Sun, Yu-Ping Huang. Characterization and Genomic Analysis of ɸSHP3, a New Transposable Bacteriophage Infecting Stenotrophomonas maltophilia. Journal of virology. 2021 Apr 12;95(9)

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PMID: 33536173

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