Definition of prophage in English:


Syllabification: pro·phage
Pronunciation: /ˈprōˌfāj


  • The genetic material of a bacteriophage, incorporated into the genome of a bacterium and able to produce phages if specifically activated.
    More example sentences
    • The incorporation of plasmids or prophages into the bacterial chromosomes is called transfection.
    • Specialized transducing phages generated from the prophage by illegitimate recombination usually contain the E. coli genes gal or bio that are adjacent to the phage genome.
    • This phenomenon is similar to suicidal defense against phage infection, or phage exclusion, programmed by prophages and plasmids, and may well play a similar role.


1950s: from pro-2 'before' + phage.

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