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BACTERIOPHAGE

Definition

Bacteriophages are a highly diverse group of viruses. Most or all bacteria can be infected by particular phages. Commonly, a given phage can infect only one or a few strains or species of bacteria. The consequences of phage infection depend on phage and host, and to some extent on conditions. Virulent phages always induce a lytic cycle in the host cell, while temperate phages can establish a stable, non-lytic relationship (lysogeny) with the host. Some phages can replicate and produce progeny virions within the host cell without killing or lysing it.

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