Isolation and Characterization of Two Novel Siphoviruses Novomoskovsk and Bolokhovo, Encoding Polysaccharide Depolymerases Active against Bacillus pumilus

Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Oct 26;23(21):12988. doi: 10.3390/ijms232112988.


This study describes two novel bacteriophages infecting members of the Bacillus pumilus group. Even though members of the group are not recognized as pathogenic, several strains belonging to the group have been reported to cause infectious diseases in plants, animals and humans. Bacillus pumilus group species are highly resistant to ultraviolet radiation and capable of forming biofilms, which complicates their eradication. Bacteriophages Novomoskovsk and Bolokhovo were isolated from soil samples. Genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis revealed that the phages represent two new species of the genus Andromedavirus (class Caudoviricetes). The phages remained stable in a wide range of temperatures and pH values. A host range test showed that the phages specifically infect various strains of B. pumilus. The phages form clear plaques surrounded by halos. Both phages Novomoskovsk and Bolokhovo encode proteins with pectin lyase domains-Putative depolymerases. Obtained in a purified recombinant form, the proteins produced lysis zones on the lawn of a B. pumilus strain. This suggests that Novomoskovsk and Bolokhovo may be effective for the eradication of B. pumilus biofilms.

Keywords: Andromedavirus; Bacillus pumilus; bacteriophage; biocontrol; depolymerase; genome sequencing.

MeSH terms

  • Bacillus pumilus* / genetics
  • Bacillus* / genetics
  • Bacteriophages* / genetics
  • Humans
  • Phylogeny
  • Ultraviolet Rays


  • capsular-polysaccharide galactohydrolase