Proteomic profiles and kinetics of development of bacteriophage T4 and its rI and rIII mutants in slowly growing Escherichia coli

J Gen Virol. 2013 Apr;94(Pt 4):896-905. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.048686-0. Epub 2012 Dec 12.


Bacteriophage T4 survival in its natural environment requires adjustment of phage development to the slow bacterial growth rate or the initiation of mechanisms of pseudolysogeny or lysis inhibition (LIN). While phage-encoded RI and probably RIII proteins seem to be crucial players in pseudolysogeny and LIN phenomena, the identity of proteins involved in the regulation of T4 development in slowly growing bacteria has remained unknown. In this work, using a chemostat system, we studied the development of wild-type T4 (T4wt) and its rI (T4rI) and rIII (T4rIII) mutants in slowly growing bacteria, where T4 did not initiate LIN or pseudolysogeny. We determined eclipse periods, phage propagation times, latent periods and burst sizes of T4wt, T4rI and T4rIII. We also compared intracellular proteomes of slowly growing Escherichia coli infected with either T4wt or the mutants. Using two-dimensional PAGE analyses we found 18 differentially expressed proteins from lysates of infected cells. Proteins whose amounts were different in cells harbouring T4wt and the mutants are involved in processes of replication, phage-host interactions or they constitute virion components. Our data indicate that functional RI and RIII proteins - apart from their already known roles in LIN and pseudolysogeny - are also necessary for the regulation of phage T4 development in slowly growing bacteria. This regulation may be more complicated than previously anticipated, with many factors influencing T4 development in its natural habitat.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacteriophage T4 / chemistry*
  • Bacteriophage T4 / genetics
  • Bacteriophage T4 / growth & development*
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Two-Dimensional
  • Escherichia coli / virology*
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Mutant Proteins / genetics
  • Proteome / analysis*
  • Viral Proteins / analysis*
  • Viral Proteins / genetics


  • Mutant Proteins
  • Proteome
  • Viral Proteins