Biological, Environmental, and Earth Sciences
Bacteriophages represent an enormous reservoir of novel genes, many of which are unrelated to existing entries in public databases and cannot be assigned a predicted function. Characterization of these genes can provide important insights into the intricacies of phage–host interactions and may offer new strategies to manipulate bacterial growth and behavior. Overexpression is a useful tool in the study of gene-mediated effects, and we describe here the construction of a plasmid-based overexpression library of a complete set of genes for Waterfoul, a mycobacteriophage closely related to those infecting clinically important strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and/or Mycobacterium abscessus. The arrayed Waterfoul gene library was systematically screened in a plate-based cytotoxicity assay, identifying a diverse set of 32 Waterfoul gene products capable of inhibiting the growth of the host Mycobacterium smegmatis and providing a first look at the frequency and distribution of cytotoxic products encoded within a single mycobacteriophage genome. Several of these Waterfoul gene products were observed to confer potent anti-mycobacterial effects, making them interesting candidates for follow-up mechanistic studies.
(2022). Systematic Overexpression of Genes Encoded By Mycobacteriophage Waterfoul Reveals Novel Inhibitors of Mycobacterial Growth. G3 Genes|Genomes|Genetics, 12(8).
Available at: https://aquila.usm.edu/fac_pubs/20047