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Characterization and genomic analysis of the Vibrio cyclitrophicus phage, vB_VviC_ZQ26, representing a novel viral family.

Virus Research 2023 November 15
Vibrio is a prevalent bacterial genus in aquatic environments and exhibits diverse metabolic capabilities, playing a vital role in marine biogeochemical cycles. This study isolated a novel virus infecting Vibrio cyclitrophicus, vB_VviC_ZQ26, from coastal waters near Qingdao, China. The vB_VviC_ZQ26 comprises a linear double-stranded DNA genome with a length of 42,982 bp and a G+C content of 43.21%, encoding 72 putative open reading frames (ORFs). Transmission electron microscope characterization indicates a siphoviral-morphology of vB_VviC_ZQ26. Nucleic-acids-wide analysis indicates a tetranucleotide frequency deviation for genomic segments encoding putative gene transfer agent protein (GTA) and coil-containing protein, implying divergent origins occurred in different parts of viral genomes. Phylogenetic and genome-content-based analysis suggest that vB_VviC_ZQ26 represents a novel vibriophage-specific family designated as Coheviridae. From the result of biogeographic analysis, Coheviridae is mainly colonized in the temperate and tropical epipelagic zones. This study describes a novel vibriophage infecting V. cyclitrophicus, shedding light on the evolutionary divergence of different parts of the viral genome and its ecological footprint in marine environments.

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