DNA sequence, structure and gene expression of mycobacteriophage L5: a phage system for mycobacterial genetics

Mol Microbiol. 1993 Feb;7(3):395-405. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.1993.tb01131.x.


Genetic studies of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and other mycobacterial pathogens have suffered from the lack of a sophisticated genetic system. To address this issue we have developed a viral system through a detailed characterization of mycobacteriophage L5, a temperate phage that infects both fast- and slow-growing mycobacteria. We describe here the complete DNA sequence of the L5 genome and initial characterization of L5 virion structure and gene expression. In addition to providing a genetic 'tool-box' for the mycobacteria we find that L5 offers a new paradigm for dsDNA phages, being phenotypically temperate but employing genetic strategies for phage growth usually associated with lytic bacteriophages.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Bacteriophages / classification
  • Base Sequence
  • Codon / genetics
  • DNA, Viral / genetics*
  • Gene Expression
  • Genes, Viral / genetics
  • Genome, Viral
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mycobacteriaceae / genetics*
  • Mycobacteriophages / classification
  • Mycobacteriophages / genetics*
  • Mycobacteriophages / ultrastructure
  • Viral Structural Proteins / genetics*
  • Virion / genetics


  • Codon
  • DNA, Viral
  • Viral Structural Proteins

Associated data

  • GENBANK/Z18946