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Chapter 3 : Viruses and Unicellular Organisms

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Abstract:

The viruses that infect unicellular organisms were among the very first viruses to be studied, and to this day, they remain the best understood of all viruses. The study of phage-phage gene function is especially well developed in the very large microbiological populations of the dairy fermentation industry. The terms temperate and lysogenic are often used interchangeably, although they can sometimes be differentiated. Other systems of virus restriction are also known, such as small interfering RNAs. These virus restriction systems are common to all bacteria and, among prokaryotes, are essentially invariant. Both temperate phages and lytic phages appear to become parasitized by either defective viral or subviral agents. This chapter discusses defective versions of lambda and P2 and the relationship of P2 to P1. The likely origins of pili are discussed, but their similarity to the capsid proteins of filamentous phages suggests that these sex plasmids are derived from persistent viral parasites. It has always been clear that a prophage can confer on its host bacterium the rather complex phenotypes associated with the acquisition of virulence factors. For the most part, these factors are phageborne toxin genes, such as those for diphtheria toxin, erythrogenic toxins, staphylokinase, enterotoxin A, Shiga-like toxin, and botulinum toxin. Pathogenicity islands (PAIs) constitute a well-studied, plasmid-mediated genetic system which has received much attention due to its obvious medical importance.

Citation: Villarreal L. 2005. Viruses and Unicellular Organisms, p 45-100. In Viruses and the Evolution of Life. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817626.ch3
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Figures

Image of Figure 3.1
Figure 3.1

Dendrogram of DNA phage proteomic tree. The tree was constructed from 105 completely sequenced phage genomes and was generated from length-corrected protein distance scores with a penalty of 10 for missing proteins. Each phage genome is colored according to its International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses classification, as shown in the key. To make the figure easier to read, the large group of siphophage has been manually shifted away from the other groups. Reprinted from F. Rohwer and B. Edwards, 4529–4535, 2002, with permission.

Citation: Villarreal L. 2005. Viruses and Unicellular Organisms, p 45-100. In Viruses and the Evolution of Life. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817626.ch3
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Image of Figure 3.2
Figure 3.2

Nature of addiction modules. (A) A phage P1-like addiction module based on restriction/modification enzymes. (B) An addiction module based on toxic pore proteins and antitoxins to the pore; shown is the state when the parasite is present. (C) Same as panel B but with the absence of the parasite. (D) An addiction model based on a prophage providing immunity and protection from either mating or infection with exogenous phage.

Citation: Villarreal L. 2005. Viruses and Unicellular Organisms, p 45-100. In Viruses and the Evolution of Life. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817626.ch3
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Image of Figure 3.3
Figure 3.3

Dendrogram showing the proposed evolutionary relationships of RNA bacteriophage of the genera and which show F-plasmid specificity. PP7 is proposed to represent the basal phage which also has the simplest genetic map. Redrawn from J. P. Bollback and J. P. Huelsenbeck, 117–128, 2001, with permission.

Citation: Villarreal L. 2005. Viruses and Unicellular Organisms, p 45-100. In Viruses and the Evolution of Life. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817626.ch3
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Image of Figure 3.4
Figure 3.4

Evolution and common phage of cyanobacteria. The dendrogram is based on ribosomal DNA data reproduced from M. B. Sullivan, J. B. Waterbury, and S. W. Chisholm, 1047–1051, 2003, with permission.

Citation: Villarreal L. 2005. Viruses and Unicellular Organisms, p 45-100. In Viruses and the Evolution of Life. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817626.ch3
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References

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40. Brussow, H. 2001. Phages of dairy bacteria. Annu. Rev. Microbiol. 55:283303.
41. Brussow, H.,, and F. Desiere. 2001. Comparative phage genomics and the evolution of Siphoviridae: insights from dairy phages. Mol. Microbiol. 39:213222.
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63. Tetart, F.,, C. Desplats,, M. Kutateladze,, C. Monod,, H. W. Ackermann,, and H. M. Krisch. 2001. Phylogeny of the major head and tail genes of the wide-ranging T4-type bacteriophages. J. Bacteriol. 183:358366.
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Tables

Generic image for table
Table 3.1

Signature genes and genome size range for the proposed phage groups

Citation: Villarreal L. 2005. Viruses and Unicellular Organisms, p 45-100. In Viruses and the Evolution of Life. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817626.ch3

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