A specific sugar moiety in the Lactococcus lactis cell wall pellicle is required for infection by CHPC971, a member of the rare 1706 phage species

Barbara Marcelli, Anne de Jong, Harma Karsens, Thomas Janzen, Jan Kok, Oscar P. Kuipers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
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Lactococcus lactis is a Gram-positive bacterium widely used as starter culture for the production of different dairy products, especially a large variety of cheeses. Infection of lactococcal starter cultures by bacteriophages is one of the major causes of fermentation failure and often leads to production halt. Lactococcal bacteriophages belonging to the c2, 936 and P335 species are the most commonly isolated in dairy plants and have been extensively investigated in the past three decades. Information regarding bacteriophages belonging to less commonly isolated species is, on the other hand, less extensive, although these phages can also contribute to starter culture infection. Here we report the nucleotide sequence of the newly isolated L. lactis phage CHPC971, belonging to the rare 1706-species of lactococcal phages. We investigated the nature of the host receptor recognized by the phage and collected evidence strongly suggesting that it binds to a specific sugar moiety in the cell wall pellicle of its host. An in silico analysis of the genome of phage CHPC971 identified the hypothetical genes involved in receptor binding.Importance: Gathering information on how lactococcal bacteriophages recognize their host and proliferate in the dairy environment is of vital importance for the establishment of proper starter culture rotation plans, and to avoid fermentation failure and consequent great economic losses for dairy industries. We provide strong evidence on the type of receptor recognized by a newly isolated 1706-type lactococcal bacteriophage, increasing the knowledge on phage-host interactions relevant to dairying. This information can help to prevent phage infection events that, so far, are hard to predict and avoid.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere01224-19
Number of pages12
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Issue number19
Early online date26-Jul-2019
Publication statusPublished - 17-Sept-2019



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