The 46,012-bp sequence of the marine bacteriophage VpV262 infecting the bacterium Vibrio parahaemolyticus is reported. The VpV262 sequence reveals that it is a distant relative of marine Roscophage SIO1, and an even more distant relative of coliphage T7. VpV262 and SIO1 appear to represent a widespread marine phage group that lacks an RNA polymerase gene and is ancestral to the T7-like phages. We propose that this group together with the T7-like phages be designated as the T7 supergroup. The ancestral head structure gene module for the T7 supcrgroup was reconstructed by using sensitive biased Psi-blast searches supplemented by statistical support derived from gene order. In the early and replicative segments, these phages have participated in extensive interchange with the viral gene pool. VpV262 carries a different replicativc module than SIO1 and the T7-like phages.
- Marine phage
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