Russian journal of genetics vol:45 issue:2 pages:161-170
Comparison of Pseudomonas putida group of phages attributed to five species (af, phi 15, phi 27, phi 2F, and pf16) with their common property of halo-formation (formation of lightening zones) around phage plaques was conducted. The halo around phage plaques appears as a result of reduction or disappearance of bacterial polysaccharide capsules. The concentration of viable bacteria remains unchanged within the halo. A comparison of specificities of halo-formation products from various phages was conducted by a simple method. These products were shown to be highly specific and inactive on other species of pseudomonads. Phage-resistant P. putida mutants scored with respect to various phages, which lost phage adsorption ability, were tolerant to the effect of halo-formation products in most cases. Apparently, the capsular polysaccharides, which serve as a substrate for depolymerases and are the primary phage receptors, may be often lost. Results of partial sequencing of the af phage genome revealed an open reading frame that encodes the enzyme transglycosylase similar rather to transglycosylases of oligotrophic bacteria belonging to different species than to lysozymes of other phages. Possibly, it is a polyfunctional enzyme combining functions of lysozyme and an enzyme that executes the penetration of phage particle across extracellular slime and capsule.