Bacteriophages attacking Leuconostoc species may significantly influence the quality of the final product. There is however limited knowledge of this group of phages in the literature. We have determined the complete genome sequences of nine Leuconostoc bacteriophages virulent to either Leuconostoc mesenteroides or Leuconostoc pseudomesenteroides strains. The phages have dsDNA genomes with sizes ranging from 25.7 to 28.4kb. Comparative genomics analysis helped classify the 9 phages into two classes, which correlates with the host species. High percentage of similarity within the classes on both nucleotide and protein levels was observed. Genome comparison also revealed very high conservation of the overall genomic organization between the classes. The genes were organized in functional modules responsible for replication, packaging, head and tail morphogenesis, cell lysis and regulation and modification, respectively. No lysogeny modules were detected. To our knowledge this report provides the first comparative genomic work done on Leuconostoc dairy phages.
International Journal of Food Microbiology, 2014, Vol 176, Issue 4, p. 29-37