Novel groups and unique distribution of phage phoH genes in paddy waters in northeast China Academic Article uri icon


  • Although bacteriophages are ubiquitous in various environments, their genetic diversity is primarily investigated in pelagic marine environments. Corresponding studies in terrestrial environments are few. In this study, we conducted the first survey of phage diversity in the paddy ecosystem by targeting a new viral biomarker gene, phoH. A total of 424 phoH sequences were obtained from four paddy waters generated from a pot experiment with different soils collected from open paddy fields in northeast China. The majority of phoH sequences in paddy waters were novel, with the highest identity of ≤70% with known phoH sequences. Four unique groups (Group α, Group β, Group γ and Group δ) and seven new subgroups (Group 2b, Group 3d, Group 3e, Group 6a, Group 6b, Group 6c and Group 6d) were formed exclusively with the clones from the paddy waters, suggesting novel phage phoH groups exist in the paddy ecosystem. Additionally, the distribution proportions of phoH clones in different groups varied among paddy water samples, suggesting the phage community in paddy fields is biogeographically distributed. Furthermore, non-metric multidimensional scaling analysis indicated that phage phoH assemblages in paddy waters were distinct from those in marine waters.

publication date

  • 2016