The GenBank database currently contains sequence data for 33 N4-like viruses, with only one, Escherichia phage N4, being formally recognized by the ICTV. The genus N4likevirus is uniquely characterized by that fact that its members possess an extremely large, virion-associated RNA polymerase. Using a variety of proteomic, genomic and phylogenetic tools, we have demonstrated that the N4-like phages are not monophyletic and that N4 is actually a genomic orphan. We propose to create four new genera: “G7cvirus” (consisting of phages G7C, IME11, KBNP21, vB_EcoP_PhAPEC5, vB_EcoP_PhAPEC7, Bp4, EC1-UPM and pSb-1), “Lit1virus” (LIT1, PA26 and vB_PaeP_C2-10_Ab09), “Sp58virus” (SP058 and SP076), and “Dss3virus” (DSS3φ2 and EE36φ1). We propose that coliphage N4, the members of “G7cvirus”, Erwinia phage Ea9-2, and Achromobacter phage JWAlpha should be considered members of the same subfamily, which we tentatively call the “Enquartavirinae”.
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