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bacteriophage Line breaks: bac¦terio|phage
Pronunciation: /bakˈtɪərɪə(ʊ)feɪdʒ/

Definition of bacteriophage in English:


A virus which parasitizes a bacterium by infecting it and reproducing inside it. Bacteriophages are much used in genetic research.
Example sentences
  • Suitable vectors are the DNAs of bacterial viruses or bacteriophages which naturally infect bacteria and replicate within them.
  • Those viruses, called bacteriophages, specifically infect bacteria, capture some of their genes, and transfer the genes from one microbe to the next.
  • For a subset of these viruses, including many tailed bacteriophages and the herpes viruses, the concatemers are cut at specific sites to generate unit-length virion chromosomes.


1920s: from bacterium + Greek phagein 'eat'.

Definition of bacteriophage in:
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