Article open access publication

Isolation and characterization of a N4-like lytic bacteriophage infecting Vibrio splendidus, a pathogen of fish and bivalves

PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science (PLoS), ISSN 1932-6203

Volume 12, 12, 2017

DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0190083, Dimensions: pub.1100102166, PMC: PMC5746245, PMID: 29284014,


* Corresponding author



  1. (1) Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, grid.410335.0
  2. (2) University of Copenhagen, grid.5254.6, KU







A novel virulent bacteriophage, vB_VspP_pVa5, infecting a strain of Vibrio splendidus was isolated from a sea-cage aquaculture farm in Greece, and characterized using microbiological methods and genomic analysis. Bacteriophage vB_VspP_pVa5 is a N4-like podovirus with an icosahedral head measuring 85 nm in length and a short non-contractile tail. The phage had a narrow host range infecting only the bacterial host, a latent period of 30 min and a burst size of 24 virions per infected bacterium. Its genome size was 78,145 bp and genomic analysis identified 107 densely-packed genes, 40 of which could be annotated. In addition to the very large virion encapsulated DNA-dependent RNA polymerase which is the signature of the N4-like genus, an interesting feature of the novel phage is the presence of a self-splicing group I intron in the thymidylate synthase gene. A tRNAStop interrupted by a ~2.5kb open reading frame-containing area was also identified. The absence of genes related to lysogeny along with the high efficacy observed during in vitro cell lysis trials, indicate that the vB_VspP_pVa5 is a potential candidate component in a bacteriophage cocktail suitable for the biological control of V. splendidus in aquaculture.


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