vB_BcM_Sam46 and vB_BcM_Sam112, members of a new bacteriophage genus with unusual small terminase structure

Sci Rep. 2021 Jun 9;11(1):12173. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-91289-x.


One of the serious public health concerns is food contaminated with pathogens and their vital activity products such as toxins. Bacillus cereus group of bacteria includes well-known pathogenic species such as B. anthracis, B. cereus sensu stricto (ss), B. cytotoxicus and B. thuringiensis. In this report, we describe the Bacillus phages vB_BcM_Sam46 and vB_BcM_Sam112 infecting species of this group. Electron microscopic analyses indicated that phages Sam46 and Sam112 have the myovirus morphotype. The genomes of Sam46 and Sam112 comprise double-stranded DNA of 45,419 bp and 45,037 bp in length, respectively, and have the same GC-content. The genome identity of Sam46 and Sam112 is 96.0%, indicating that they belong to the same phage species. According to the phylogenetic analysis, these phages form a distinct clade and may be members of a new phage genus, for which we propose the name 'Samaravirus'. In addition, an interesting feature of the Sam46 and Sam112 phages is the unusual structure of their small terminase subunit containing N-terminal FtsK_gamma domain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Bacillus Phages / classification
  • Bacillus Phages / enzymology
  • Bacillus Phages / genetics*
  • Bacillus Phages / isolation & purification
  • Bacillus anthracis / growth & development
  • Bacillus anthracis / virology*
  • Bacillus cereus / growth & development
  • Bacillus cereus / virology*
  • Bacillus thuringiensis / growth & development
  • Bacillus thuringiensis / virology*
  • Base Composition
  • Endodeoxyribonucleases / chemistry*
  • Endodeoxyribonucleases / genetics
  • Endodeoxyribonucleases / metabolism
  • Genome, Viral*
  • Phylogeny
  • Sequence Homology
  • Viral Plaque Assay


  • Endodeoxyribonucleases
  • terminase