The genome of AR9, a giant transducing Bacillus phage encoding two multisubunit RNA polymerases

Daria Lavysh, Maria Sokolova, Leonid Minakhin, Maria Yakunina, Tatjana Artamonova, Sergei Kozyavkin, Kira S. Makarova, Eugene V. Koonin, Konstantin Severinov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Bacteriophage AR9 and its close relative PBS1 have been extensively used to construct early Bacillus subtilis genetic maps. Here, we present the 251,042 bp AR9 genome, a linear, terminally redundant double-stranded DNA containing deoxyuridine instead of thymine. Multiple AR9 genes are interrupted by non-coding sequences or sequences encoding putative endonucleases. We show that these sequences are group I and group II self-splicing introns. Eight AR9 proteins are homologous to fragments of bacterial RNA polymerase (RNAP) subunits β/β'. These proteins comprise two sets of paralogs of RNAP largest subunits, with each paralog encoded by two disjoint phage genes. Thus, AR9 is a phiKZ-related giant phage that relies on two multisubunit viral RNAPs to transcribe its genome independently of host transcription apparatus. Purification of one of PBS1/AR9 RNAPs has been reported previously, which makes AR9 a promising object for further studies of RNAP evolution, assembly and mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-196
Number of pages12
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Virology


  • Bacillus subtilis
  • Bacteriophage
  • Evolution
  • Genome
  • Introns
  • RNA polymerase
  • Transcription


Dive into the research topics of 'The genome of AR9, a giant transducing Bacillus phage encoding two multisubunit RNA polymerases'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this