Lab News & Events
Phage-encoded elements and the ecology and evolution of marine disease pathogenesis
In a new book chapter from the Rohwer lab, published in the book Marine Disease Ecology, Little*, Rojas*, and Rohwer shed light on the abundance and functional role of bacteriophage integrated in the genomes of bacteria that live in association with marine animal hosts. These prophages were shown to be more prevalent in host-associated pathogens than non-pathogens existing in the same animal holobionts. Additionally, a comparison of the prophage-encoding genes between the two groups, found that in disease-causing bacteria these are enriched for carbohydrate and nitrogen metabolism, virulence factors, and membrane transport. The chapter reviews what is known about prophages in the context of marine diseases.