A virus that parasitizes a bacterium by infecting it and reproducing inside it.
- 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'.
For editors and proofreaders
Definition of bacteriophage in:
What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?
Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.