Comparative analysis of Chlamydia bacteriophages reveals variation localized to a putative receptor binding domain

Microb Comp Genomics. 2000;5(4):223-31. doi: 10.1089/omi.1.2000.5.223.


Three recently discovered ssDNA Chlamydia-infecting microviruses, phiCPG1, phiAR39, and Chp2, were compared with the previously characterized phage from avian C. psittaci, Chp1. Although the four bacteriophages share an identical arrangement of their five main genes, Chpl has diverged significantly in its nucleotide and protein sequences from the other three, which form a closely related group. The VP1 major viral capsid proteins of phiCPG1 and phiAR39 (from guinea pig-infecting C. psittaci and C. pneumoniae, respectively) are almost identical. However, VP1 of ovine C. psittaci phage Chp2 shows a high rate of nucleotide sequence change localized to a region encoding the "IN5" loop of the protein, thought to be a potential receptor-binding site. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that the ORF4 replication initiation protein is evolving faster than the other phage proteins. phiCPG1, phiAR39, and Chp2 are closely related to an ORF4 homolog inserted in the C. pneumoniae chromosome. This sequence analysis opens the way toward understanding the host-range and evolutionary history of these phages.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Binding Sites
  • Birds / microbiology
  • Capsid / chemistry
  • Capsid / genetics*
  • Capsid / metabolism
  • Chlamydia / virology*
  • Chlamydophila pneumoniae / virology
  • Chlamydophila psittaci / virology
  • DNA Helicases / genetics
  • DNA, Single-Stranded / genetics
  • DNA, Viral / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins*
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Genome, Viral*
  • Mammals / microbiology
  • Microvirus / classification*
  • Microvirus / genetics
  • Microvirus / isolation & purification
  • Open Reading Frames
  • Phylogeny
  • Protein Conformation
  • Receptors, Virus / metabolism*
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Species Specificity
  • Trans-Activators / genetics


  • DNA, Single-Stranded
  • DNA, Viral
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Receptors, Virus
  • Trans-Activators
  • replication initiator protein
  • DNA Helicases