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Glossary of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

David M. Glick


A virus that infects bacteria. Many phage have proved useful in the study of molecular biology and as vectors for the transfer of genetic information between cells. Lytic phage, e.g. the T series phage that infect E. coli (coliphages), invariably lyse a cell following infection; temperate phage, e.g. lambda bacteriophage, can also undergo a lytic cycle or can enter a lysogenic cycle, in which the phage DNA is incorporated into that of the host, awaiting a signal that initiates events leading to replication of the virus and lysis of the host cell.

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