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Bacteriophage is:

Last updated date: 25th Jul 2024
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Hint: In river systems, bacteriophages have been used in hydrological tracing and modelling, especially where surface water and groundwater interactions exist. Since phage’s are substantially less absorbed when passing through ground waters and can be identified at very low concentrations, they are favoured over more traditional dye markers.

Complete answer:
A bacteriophage is a virus which infects bacteria. Since the term "bacteriophages" means "eater of the bacteria," since bacteriophages kill their host cells. All bacteriophages are composed of a protein-structured nucleic acid molecule. A bacteriophage infects the host cell by attaching itself to a susceptible bacterium. After an infection, the bacteriophages hijack the cellular machinery of the bacterial cell, forcing it to generate viruses rather than bacterial components. New bacteriophages assemble and explode from a bacterium in a process called lysis.
During the infection process, bacteriophages periodically extract a portion of the bacterial DNA from their host cells and then pass this DNA into the genome of new host cells. Transduction is the term for this method.

Bacteriophages can go through either a lytic or a lysogenic stage. After immediate replication of the virus, lytic phages such as the \[T4\] phage break (lyse) and kill bacterial cells. The phage progeny will find new hosts to invade as soon as the cell is killed. Phage therapy is better with lytic phages. When extracellular phage concentrations are high, some lytic phage’s experience a phenomenon known as lysis inhibition, in which completed phage progeny do not immediately lyse out of the cell. This process differs from that of a temperate phage going dormant, and it is normally only temporary.