Isolation of polyvalent bacteriophages by sequential multiple-host approaches

Pingfeng Yu, Jacques Mathieu, Mengyan Li, Zhaoyi Dai, Pedro J.J. Alvarez

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92 Scopus citations


Many studies on phage biology are based on isolation methods that may inadvertently select for narrow-host-range phages. Consequently, broad-host-range phages, whose ecological significance is largely unexplored, are consistently overlooked. To enhance research on such polyvalent phages, we developed two sequential multihost isolation methods and tested both culturedependent and culture-independent phage libraries for broad infectivity. Lytic phages isolated from activated sludge were capable of interspecies or even interorder infectivity without a significant reduction in the efficiency of plating (0.45 to 1.15). Two polyvalent phages (PX1 of the Podoviridae family and PEf1 of the Siphoviridae family) were characterized in terms of adsorption rate (3.54 × 10-10 to 8.53 × 10-10 ml/min), latent time (40 to 55 min), and burst size (45 to 99 PFU/cell), using different hosts. These phages were enriched with a nonpathogenic host (Pseudomonas putida F1 or Escherichia coli K-12) and subsequently used to infect model problematic bacteria. By using a multiplicity of infection of 10 in bacterial challenge tests, > 60% lethality was observed for Pseudomonas aeruginosa relative to uninfected controls. The corresponding lethality for Pseudomonas syringae was ~50%. Overall, this work suggests that polyvalent phages may be readily isolated from the environment by using different sequential hosts, and this approach should facilitate the study of their ecological significance as well as enable novel applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)808-815
Number of pages8
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Biotechnology
  • Ecology


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