In the current study, we characterized 137 Lactococcus lactis bacteriophages that had been isolated between 1997 and 2012 from whey samples obtained from industrial facilities located in 16 countries. Multiplex PCR grouping of these 137 phage isolates revealed that the majority (61.31%) belonged to the 936 group, with the remainder belonging to the P335 and c2 groups (23.36 and 15.33%, respectively). Restriction profile analysis of phage genomic DNA indicated a high degree of genetic diversity within this phage collection. Furthermore, based on a host-range survey of the phage collection using 113 dairy starter strains, we showed that the c2-group isolates exhibited a broader host range than isolates of the 936 and P335 groups.
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