Identification of the Burkholderia pseudomallei bacteriophage ST79 lysis gene cassette

N. Khakhum, U. Yordpratum, A. Boonmee, U. Tattawasart, J. L.M. Rodrigues, R. W. Sermswan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: To identify and characterize the lysis gene cassette from the bacteriophage ST79 that lyses Burkholderia pseudomallei. Methods and Results: Approximately 1·5 kb of ST79 lysis genes were identified from the phage genome data. It was composed of holin, peptidase M15A or endolysin, lysB and lysC. Each gene and its combinations were cloned into Escherichia coli and the lytic effects were measured. Co-expression of holin and peptidase M15A showed the highest lysis activity. Expression of holin, lysB/C or holin-peptidase M15A-lysB/lysC lysed the E. coli membrane, whereas peptidase M15A alone did not. The predicted transmembrane structures of holin and lysB/C indicated that they could be inserted into the bacterial membrane to form pores, affecting cell permeability and causing lysis. Conclusion: This is the first report of an investigation into the lysis genes of B. pseudomallei's lytic phage using E. coli as a model. Significance and Impact of the Study: Burkholderia pseudomallei, a Gram-negative bacterium causing an infectious disease, is intrinsically resistant to several antibiotics, and a vaccine is not available. The lysis genes of ST79, the first reported lytic bacteriophage of B. pseudomallei, were characterized. The development of ST79 as an alternative treatment for skin ulceration, for example, or to be used as a gene cloning tool for B. pseudomallei may be possible with this knowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)364-372
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Microbiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • bacteria
  • bacteriophages
  • diseases
  • enzymes
  • gene expression
  • lysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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