Genome Annotation of Novel K1 Subcluster Mycobacteriophage Blizzard

How to Cite

Brouillard-Galipeau, M., Chau, B.-A., Cyr, J., Intrevado, R., Kim, S., Koger-Pease, C., Lapshina, E., Mircescu, A., Serrador, D., Slattery, M., Vonniessen, B., Shamash, M., & Chahal, J. (2022). Genome Annotation of Novel K1 Subcluster Mycobacteriophage Blizzard. McGill Science Undergraduate Research Journal, 17(1), 23-29.


The evolution of antimicrobial resistant pathogens constitutes a significant global public health threat. Combined with the lack of incentive for pharmaceutical companies to invest in developing new antibiotics, it is clear alternative treatments are needed. Bacteriophages present one possible avenue as they harness the diversity and specificity of a microorganism that has coevolved with bacteria. However, little is known about these bacterial viruses. The SEA-PHAGES program was designed to identify and characterize novel bacteriophages and their associated gene functions. Herein, we report the genome annotation of one such novel phage: Mycobacteriophage Blizzard (GenBank accession number MW712733). Blizzard’s gene content was functionally annotated using bioinformatic tools including DNA Master, Phamerator, and NCBI BLAST, to call start sites as well as predict gene function. Overall, 96 genes were identified, including a tRNA and a translational frameshift, using highly similar reference phages BEEST, Belladonna, and CREW. From the 96 genes identified, 46 were functionally annotated. The remaining 50 genes have unknown functions due to the lack of significant matches in the databases. Our results demonstrate a novel annotated phage, whose genome serves to expand the understanding of phage biology and potential implications as alternative treatment to antibiotics.