crAssphage genomes identified in fecal samples of an adult and infants with evidence of positive genomic selective pressure within tail protein genes

Bryan P. Brown, Denis Chopera, Enock Havyarimana, Jerome Wendoh, Shameem Jaumdally, Donald D. Nyangahu, Clive M. Gray, Darren P. Martin, Arvind Varsani, Heather B. Jaspan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

crAssphages are a broad group of diverse bacteriophages in the order Caudovirales that have been found to be highly abundant in the human gastrointestinal tract. Despite their high prevalence, we have an incomplete understanding of how crAssphages shape and respond to ecological and evolutionary dynamics in the gut. Here, we report genomes of crAssphages from feces of one South African woman and three infants. Across the complete genome sequences of the South African crAssphages described here, we identify particularly elevated positive selection in RNA polymerase and phage tail protein encoding genes, contrasted against purifying selection, genome-wide. We further validate these findings against a crAssphage genome from previous studies. Together, our results suggest hotspots of selection within crAssphage RNA polymerase and phage tail protein encoding genes are potentially mediated by interactions between crAssphages and their bacterial partners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number198219
JournalVirus research
Volume292
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 15 2021

Keywords

  • Bacteriophage
  • crAssphage
  • Selection
  • South Africa
  • Tail protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

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