We have just published a paper describing how phages affect translation of proteins very specifically. In our case, the phage expressed a peptide deformylase with increased specificty for proteins involved in photosynthesis. That lead me to wonder how else phages affect protein synthesis, and whether they are merely trying to increase the amount of proteins being made. One way to do that might be to increase the number of tRNA-Met initiator tRNAs. To test this hypothesis I counted all the tRNAs in all the phages to see which is the most abundant. It wasn’t tRNA-Met, and after the read more I will tell you what it was.
I used tRNAScan-SE to identify all the tRNAs in all the phages in the PhAnToMe database, and from the output from tRNAScan-SE I counted all the different types. Here is a table listing all the tRNAs and their frequency in the phages:
This is all of the tRNAs, and clearly there are some really big differences. A question to answer is why some tRNAs more abundant than any others?