Chapter 11 : Mycoplasma Phages

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This chapter focuses on the temperate MAV1 phage that infects strains of . The major factor that has been implicated in the development of arthritis is the extensively studied superantigen MAM. In some respects, mycoplasmal phage infections resemble the viral infections of animal cells. The current hypothesis is that Vir prevents superinfection by interfering with the injection of phage DNA into the mycoplasma cell, as is the case for several other phage exclusion systems. Interesting examples of the ability of phages to cure of spiroplasma infection are reviewed and discussed. Some exotic restriction and modification systems have been identified in mycoplasmas. These include the phase-variable restriction systems of that were described and a restriction system in that restricts phage genomes that contain 5-methylcytosine without any nucleotide sequence specificity for DNA recognition. Alternatively, the genomes of MAV1 or other phages that infect may encode GATC-specific restriction systems that have influenced MAV1 DNA evolution. Research on mycoplasma phages is challenging because of the fastidious nature of the host, but such phages are important from the perspectives of host pathogenesis and evolution.

Citation: Dybvig K, Tu A, Clapper B. 2005. Mycoplasma Phages, p 223-237. In Waldor M, Friedman D, Adhya S (ed), Phages. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816506.ch11

Key Concept Ranking

Cell Wall Biosynthesis
Linear Double-Stranded DNA
Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
Major Histocompatibility Complex
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Image of FIGURE 1

Model of MAV1 DNA integration and excision. Recombination is proposed to occur via a staggered (e.g., 6-bp) cleavage reaction. Excision and circularization of the MAV1 DNA would result in a heteroduplex at the nucleotide position adjacent to the TATTTTT sequence that would be resolved after the first round of replication into one MAV1 DNA molecule with the sequence TATTTTTX and a second molecule with the sequence TATTTTTY.“X” and “Y” refer to any of the four nucleotides and base pair with the nucleotides “X′” and “Y′,” respectively.

Citation: Dybvig K, Tu A, Clapper B. 2005. Mycoplasma Phages, p 223-237. In Waldor M, Friedman D, Adhya S (ed), Phages. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816506.ch11
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Image of FIGURE 2

Organization of the MAV1 genome showing the locations of ORFs and promoters. ORFs for which no function can be assigned are shown as unlabeled arrows.

Citation: Dybvig K, Tu A, Clapper B. 2005. Mycoplasma Phages, p 223-237. In Waldor M, Friedman D, Adhya S (ed), Phages. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816506.ch11
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Generic image for table
Table 1

Representative phages from

Citation: Dybvig K, Tu A, Clapper B. 2005. Mycoplasma Phages, p 223-237. In Waldor M, Friedman D, Adhya S (ed), Phages. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816506.ch11

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