species have environmental, industrial and medical significance, and are important opportunistic pathogens in individuals with cystic fibrosis (CF). Approximately 10% of genomes (6-9 Mb) are horizontally acquired material, representing a rich source of mobile genetic elements including prophages. There is limited research on bacteriophages, their contributions to genome evolution, virulence and antimicrobial resistance, or biotechnological and therapeutic applications. We investigated prophage carriage in and aimed to isolate and characterise inducible bacteriophages from .

genomes were screened for prophages using PHASTER. Prophage genomes were compared using MASH and visualised with ProgressiveMauve. Phylogenomics was used to assess the distribution of prophages across strains. Spontaneously induced phages were characterised to determine linkage between prophage regions and isolated phages, bacteriophage morphology and host range.

Prophage carriage across 456 strains (spanning 43 species) was high; 716 intact prophages were discovered and polylysogeny was common. In alone, 115 prophages were identified from 81 strains, with evidence of shared prophage carriage between related and diverse strains. Three novel inducible phages were isolated from strain G4 and their genomic origins localised putatively. One phage (vB_BvM-G4P1; family Myoviridae) had inhibitory activity against multiple strains of 5 complex species, including species prevalent in CF infections.

Prophages are numerous in genomes and contribute to strain diversity. There is huge potential for further investigation into the functional implications of prophage carriage and its impact on genome evolution, in addition to the isolation of novel bacteriophages.

  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.

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