Escherichia coli bacteriophage Gostya9 (genus T5virus) was isolated from horse feces collected in Moscow, Russia, in 2013. This phage was associated in a single plaque with the previously reported phage 9g and was subsequently purified. Analysis of the complete genomic sequence of Gostya9 revealed that it is closely related to the T5-like bacteriophage DT57C, which had been isolated at the same location in 2007. These two viruses share 79.5% nucleotide sequence identity, which is below the 95% threshold applied currently to demarcate bacteriophage species. The most significant features distinguishing Gostya9 from DT57C include 1) the presence of one long tail fiber protein gene, 122c (ltf), instead of the two genes, ltfA and ltfB, that are present in DT57C; 2) the absence of the gene for the receptor-blocking lytic conversion lipoprotein precursor llp; and 3) the divergence of the receptor-recognition protein, pb5, which is only distantly related at the amino acid sequence level. The observed features of the Gostya9 adsorption apparatus are suggestive of a possible novel specificity for the final receptor and make this phage interesting for possible direct application in phage therapy of E. coli infections or as a source of receptor-recognition protein for engineering new phage specificities.
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