Two novel bacteriophage genera from a groundwater reservoir highlight subsurface environments as underexplored biotopes in bacteriophage ecology
Although bacteriophages are central entities in bacterial ecology and population dynamics, there is currently no literature on the genomes of bacteriophages isolated from groundwater. Using a collection of bacterial isolates from an aquifer as hosts, this study isolated, sequenced and characterised two bacteriophages native to the groundwater reservoir. Host phylogenetic analyses revealed that the phages targeted B. mycoides and a novel Pseudomonas species. These results suggest that both bacteriophages represent new genera, highlighting that groundwater reservoirs, and probably other subsurface environments as well, are underexplored biotopes in terms of the presence and ecology of bacteriophages.