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A roadmap for genome-based phage taxonomy

Turner, Dann; Kropinski, Andrew M.; Adriaenssens, Evelien M.

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Andrew M. Kropinski

Evelien M. Adriaenssens


Bacteriophage (phage) taxonomy has been in flux since its inception over four decades ago. Genome sequencing has put pressure on the classification system and recent years have seen significant changes to phage taxonomy. Here, we reflect on the state of phage taxonomy and provide a roadmap for the future, including the abolition of the order Caudovirales and the families Myoviridae, Podoviridae, and Siphoviridae. Furthermore, we specify guidelines for the demarcation of species, genus, subfamily and family-level ranks of tailed phage taxonomy.


Turner, D., Kropinski, A. M., & Adriaenssens, E. M. (2021). A roadmap for genome-based phage taxonomy. Viruses, 13(3), Article 506.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 16, 2021
Online Publication Date Mar 18, 2021
Publication Date Mar 18, 2021
Deposit Date Jun 25, 2021
Publicly Available Date Jul 1, 2021
Journal Viruses
Electronic ISSN 1999-4915
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 13
Issue 3
Article Number 506
Series Title Viruses
Series ISSN 1999-4915
Keywords phage taxonomy; phage classification; Caudovirales; Myoviridae; Podoviridae; Siphoviridae; demarcation criteria
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