A new family of “megaphages” abundant in the marine environment

Michniewski, S, Rihtman, B, Cook, R, Jones, MA, Wilson, WH, Scanlan, DJ and Millard, A 2021 A new family of “megaphages” abundant in the marine environment. ISME Communications, 58.

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Official URL: https://www.nature.com/articles/s43705-021-00064-6


Megaphages, bacteriophages harbouring extremely large genomes, have recently been found to be ubiquitous, being described from a variety of microbiomes ranging from the animal gut to soil and freshwater systems. However, no complete marine megaphage has been identified to date. Here, using both short and long read sequencing, we assembled >900 high-quality draft viral genomes from water in the English Channel. One of these genomes included a novel megaphage, Mar_Mega_1 at >650 Kb, making it one of the largest phage genomes assembled to date. Utilising phylogenetic and network approaches, we found this phage represents a new family of megaphages. Genomic analysis showed Mar_Mega_1 shares relatively few homologues with its closest relatives, but, as with other megaphages Mar_Mega_1 contained a variety of auxiliary metabolic genes responsible for carbon metabolism and nucleotide biosynthesis, including a NADP-dependent isocitrate dehydrogenase [Idh] and nicotinamide-nucleotide amidohydrolase [PncC], which have not previously been identified in megaphages. Mar_Mega_1 was abundant in a marine virome sample and related phages are widely prevalent in the oceans.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Additional Keywords: Brief Communication, Megaphages, Genomes, Marine Environment
Subjects: Aquaculture
Marine Sciences
Divisions: Marine Biological Association of the UK > Other (MBA)
Depositing User: Tamar Atkinson
Date made live: 14 Mar 2022 11:31
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2024 16:57
URI: https://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/9611

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