Ukrainian Antarctic journal

No 10-11 (2012): Ukrainian Antarctic Journal

Biological characteristics of bacteriophages isolated from Antarctica

O.V. Puhach
Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University, Kyiv
O.V. Mas
Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University, Kyiv
O.M. Andriychuk
Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University, Kyiv
V.P. Polishchuk
Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University, Kyiv
  • ecology,
  • Antarctica,
  • extreme conditions,
  • bacteriophages,
  • viruses


This work is focused on phage isolation from moss and soil samples which were collected near the Ukrainian Antarctic Station "Academician Vernadsky" at the Argentina Islands in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2008. Samples were analyzed for the presence of bacteriophages in laboratory strains of pathogenic bacteria affecting cultural agricultural crops and are widespread in temperate zones. Allocated 58 virus isolates, analyzed their lityc activity, morphology, and shelf life in the laboratory. Antarctic phages tend to rapid inactivation at their preservation, compared with isolates of phages that were isolated from agrocenosis of Ukraine. Electron microscopy studies revealed that isolated phages fall into two morphological groups characterized with: i) isometric heads and long non-contractive tail (relates to the Siphoviridae family, order Caudovirales); and ii) isometric heads and short non-contractive tail (relates to the Podoviridae family, order Caudovirales). The research laid the foundation for monitoring bacteriophage Antarctica. It is of interest to establish mechanisms to maintain the population of phages in extreme conditions.