SUMMARY: Fifty-five lytic bacteriophages isolated from water and soil samples were active on many strains of the genus The optimal isolation procedure was an adsorption method in which samples from a habitat similar to that of the respective host bacterium were used as the phage inoculum. According to the morphology and nucleic acid type these bacteriophages belonged to different families: (type A1: five phages); (type B1: 33 phages; type B2: eight phages) and (type C1: nine phages). The (type B1) appeared in two morphological variants (tails flexible or rigid). All phages investigated were specific for the genus and were unable to lyse members of other genera of hyphal, budding bacteria (e.g. , genus D, genus T). The host specificity of 42 phages was tested with 156 strains: 122 strains were lysed by at least one of these phages, but 34 strains were not susceptible. Morphotype B1 phages with identical morphology could be distinguished according to their host-range properties on prophage-containing strains. With regard to differences in morphology and host range, 25 phages were selected for more detailed investigations. From these phages DNA was isolated; the melting transition midpoints ( ) ranged from 67 to 93 °C. The upper and higher values suggested the presence of DNA modifications. Six different adsorption patterns could be distinguished among the phages. Preferred attachment sites were the proximal pole of the mother cell, the hyphal tip, the distal pole of the bud, and the distal pole of the swarmer cell.


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