Next-Generation "-omics" Approaches Reveal a Massive Alteration of Host RNA Metabolism during Bacteriophage Infection of Pseudomonas aeruginosa

PLoS Genet. 2016 Jul 5;12(7):e1006134. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1006134. eCollection 2016 Jul.


As interest in the therapeutic and biotechnological potentials of bacteriophages has grown, so has value in understanding their basic biology. However, detailed knowledge of infection cycles has been limited to a small number of model bacteriophages, mostly infecting Escherichia coli. We present here the first analysis coupling data obtained from global next-generation approaches, RNA-Sequencing and metabolomics, to characterize interactions between the virulent bacteriophage PAK_P3 and its host Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We detected a dramatic global depletion of bacterial transcripts coupled with their replacement by viral RNAs over the course of infection, eventually leading to drastic changes in pyrimidine metabolism. This process relies on host machinery hijacking as suggested by the strong up-regulation of one bacterial operon involved in RNA processing. Moreover, we found that RNA-based regulation plays a central role in PAK_P3 lifecycle as antisense transcripts are produced mainly during the early stage of infection and viral small non coding RNAs are massively expressed at the end of infection. This work highlights the prominent role of RNA metabolism in the infection strategy of a bacteriophage belonging to a new characterized sub-family of viruses with promising therapeutic potential.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacteriophages / genetics*
  • Bacteriophages / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Viral
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Metabolomics*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / genetics*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / metabolism
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / virology
  • RNA, Viral / genetics*
  • RNA, Viral / metabolism


  • RNA, Viral