Evidence for horizontal gene transfer between Chlamydophila pneumoniae and Chlamydia phage
Anne G Rosenwald1,*, Bradley Murray1, Theodore Toth1, Ramana Madupu2, Alexandra Kyrillos1, and Gaurav b
1Department of Biology; Georgetown University; Washington, DC USA
2J. Craig Venter Institute; Rockville, MD USA
Chlamydia-infecting bacteriophages, members of the Microviridae family, speciﬁcally the Gokushovirinae subfamily, are small (4.5–5 kb) single-stranded circles with 8–10 open-reading frames similar to E. coli phage fX174. Using sequence information found in GenBank, we examined related genes in Chlamydophila pneumoniae and Chlamydiainfecting bacteriophages. The 5 completely sequenced C. pneumoniae strains contain a gene orthologous to a phage gene annotated as the putative replication initiation protein (PRIP, also called VP4), which is not found in any other members of the Chlamydiaceae family sequenced to date. The C. pneumoniae strain infecting koalas, LPCoLN, in addition contains another region orthologous to phage sequences derived from the minor capsid protein gene, VP3. Phylogenetically, the phage PRIP sequences are more diverse than the bacterial PRIP sequences; nevertheless, the bacterial sequences and the phage sequences each cluster together in their own clade. Finally, we found evidence for another Microviridae phage-related gene, the major capsid protein gene, VP1 in a number of other bacterial species and 2 eukaryotes, the woodland strawberry and a nematode. Thus, we ﬁnd considerable evidence for DNA sequences related to genes found in bacteriophages of the Microviridae family not only in a variety of prokaryotic but also eukaryotic species.