A novel filamentous bacteriophage, fs-2, was isolated from Vibrio cholerae O139 strain MDO14. The fs-2 phage was a long filamentous particle 1200 nm long and 7 nm wide. The purified phage formed a turbid plaque when spotted on a lawn of the host organisms. The plaque-formation activity was stable following heating to 70 ° but was inhibited by treatment with chloroform. fs-2 had a single-stranded DNA genome and was converted to a double-stranded replicative form in the host cell. Almost all V. cholerae O139 and O1 El Tor biotype strains tested were sensitive to the phage, but most O1 classical strains and non-O1 non-O139 strains were resistant. The fs-2 genome comprised 8651 nucleotides containing nine open reading frames, five of which had predicted protein products partially homologous to the reported protein products of other filamentous phages. Although the extent of the homology was not particularly high, the genetic organization of other filamentous phages appears to be preserved in fs-2. The phage was not integrated into the chromosome of its host, but a 715 nucleotide fragment located in the large intergenic region of fs-2 was highly homologous to a part of region RS2 (repetitive sequence 2) of the V. cholerae CTX sequence which is speculated to be required for integration of the phage into the V. cholerae chromosome at a specific site.


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