Isolation and characterization of a temperate bacteriophage from the ruminal anaerobe Selenomonas ruminantium.


A temperate bacteriophage was obtained from an isolate of the ruminal anaerobe Selenomonas ruminantium. Clear plaques that became turbid on further incubation occurred on a lawn of host bacteria. Cells picked from a turbid plaque produced healthy liquid cultures, but these often lysed on storage. Mid-log-phase liquid cultures incubated with the bacteriophage lysed and released infectious particles with a titer of up to 3 X 10(7) PFU/ml. A laboratory strain of S. ruminantium, HD-4, was also sensitive to this bacteriophage, which had an icosohedral head (diameter, 50 nm) and a flexible tail (length, 140 nm). The bacteriophage contained 30 kilobases of linear, double-stranded DNA, and a detailed restriction map was constructed. The lysogenic nature of infection was demonstrated by hybridization of bacteriophage DNA to specific restriction fragments of infected host genomic DNA and by identification of a bacteriophage genomic domain which may participate in integration of the bacteriophage DNA. Infection of S. ruminantium in vitro was demonstrated by two different methods of cell transformation with purified bacteriophage DNA.

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