The genome of the Erwinia amylovora phage PhiEaH1 reveals greater diversity and broadens the applicability of phages for the treatment of fire blight

Katalin Meczker, Dóra Dömötör, János Vass, Gábor Rákhely, György Schneider, Tamás Kovács

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22 Citations (Scopus)


The enterobacterium Erwinia amylovora is the causal agent of fire blight. This study presents the analysis of the complete genome of phage PhiEaH1, isolated from the soil surrounding an E. amylovora-infected apple tree in Hungary. Its genome is 218 kb in size, containing 244 ORFs. PhiEaH1 is the second E. amylovora infecting phage from the Siphoviridae family whose complete genome sequence was determined. Beside PhiEaH2, PhiEaH1 is the other active component of Erwiphage, the first bacteriophage-based pesticide on the market against E. amylovora. Comparative genome analysis in this study has revealed that PhiEaH1 not only differs from the 10 formerly sequenced E. amylovora bacteriophages belonging to other phage families, but also from PhiEaH2. Sequencing of more Siphoviridae phage genomes might reveal further diversity, providing opportunities for the development of even more effective biological control agents, phage cocktails against Erwinia fire blight disease of commercial fruit crops. The significant difference in genome sequence of the Erwinia amylovora bacteriophage PhiEaH1, which is a component of the firstly marketed phage-based pesticide against fireblight, from other Erwinia phages suggests a strategy for improving biological control against fire blight disease of commercial crops.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-27
Number of pages3
JournalFEMS microbiology letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2014



  • Bacteriophage
  • Fire blight
  • Next-generation sequencing
  • Siphoviridae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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