The R-type pyocin of Pseudomonas aeruginosa C is a bacteriophage tail- like particle that contains single-stranded DNA

Frank K.N. Lee, Kathleen C. Dudas, Julie A. Hanson, M. Bud Nelson, Philip T. LoVerde, Michael A. Apicella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Pseudomonas aeruginosa R-type pyocin particles have been described as bacteriocins that resemble bacteriophage tail-like structures. Because of their unusual structure, we reexamined whether they contained nucleic acids. Our data indicated that pyocin particles isolated from P. aeruginosa C (pyocin C) contain DNA. Probes generated from this DNA by the random-primer extension method hybridized to distinct bands in restriction endonuclease- digested P. aeruginosa C genomic DNA. These probes also hybridized to genomic DNA from 6 of 18 P. aeruginosa strains that produced R-type pyocins. Asymmetric PCR, complementary oligonucleotide hybridization, and electron microscopy indicated that pyocin C particles contained closed circular single-stranded DNA, approximately 4.0 kb in length. Examination of total intracellular DNA from mitomycin C-induced cultures revealed the presence of two extrachromosomal DNA molecules, a double-stranded molecule and a single- stranded molecule, which hybridized to pyocin DNA. Sequence analysis of 7,480 nucleotides of P. aeruginosa C chromosomal DNA containing the pyocin DNA indicated the presence of pyocin open reading frames with similarities to open reading frames from filamentous phages and cryptic phage elements. We did not observe any similarities to known phage structural proteins or previously characterized pseudomonal prt genes expressing R-type pyocin structural proteins. These studies demonstrate that pyocin particles from P. aeruginosa C are defective phages that contain a novel closed circular single-stranded DNA and that this DNA was derived from the chromosome of P. aeruginosa C.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)717-725
Number of pages9
JournalInfection and immunity
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology


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