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BACTERIAL VIRUSES

(BACTERIOPHAGES)

Out comes of bacterial viruses


Identify bacterial viruses
(bacteriophages)
Discuss bacteriophages propagation
(replication)

Bacteriophages:
viruses that parasitize (infect) bacteria.

Morphology & Structure:


1- A head: containing nucleic
acid (usually DNA)
surrounded by a protein coat.

2- A tail: consists of a hallow


core & ends in base plate
(for attachment
on host cells).

Replication (propagation) of Bacteriophages:


Two cycles for phage replication are known

A- Lytic (vegetative) cycle: it ends in lysis of the bacterial host cell and release of the newly
formed phages. It has the following stages:

1. Adsorption
2. Penetration
3. Eclipse phase.
4. Intracellular synthesis.
5. Assembly.
6. Release

Lytic (vegetative) cycle

B-Temperate (lysogenic) cycle:


- in this cycle, the phage does not replicate and lyse
the bacteria But the phage DNA becomes integrated
with the bacterial chromosome and divides with it
to pass into daughter cells.

- Prophage: it is the integrated phage genome.


- Lysogenic bacterium: it is the bacterium carrying
the prophage.
- Lysogenic conversion (phage conversion):
Acquisition of the lysogenic bacterium to a new
character coded by a prophage DNA

Lysogenic cylce (left),


cycle after step 9 (induction)

Lytic cycle (right)

it can pass to lytic

N.B.: The presence of the prophage in the


bacterium renders:
1- The lysogenic bacterium immune to infection by
another phage.
2- Lysogenic bacterium acquires new character coded
by prophage (lysogenic conversion)

e.g. diphtheria bacilli can produce toxin only


when lysogenized.

Outcome of the temperate cycle:


1. Propagation to daughter cells: the prophage is carried
inside the bacterial cell indefinitely passing to daughter cells.

2. Detachment and induction of lytic cycle: the prophage


may be induced to detach from the bacterial chromosome and
start a lytic cycle. Induction may be spontaneous or achieved
by an inducer, e.g. U.V. light.

3. Detachment and induction of lytic cycle +


specialized transduction: During the process of induction,
the prophage may carry with it few genes of the bacterial
chromosome. When it infects another bacterium, it passes this
fragment to it giving it new characters. This is known as
"specialized transduction".

Bacteriophage and Transduction


Bacteriophages can mediate gene transfer by:

1- Generalized Transduction:
During the lytic phage cycle, the bacterial DNA is
fragmented and any fragment of DNA (whether
chromosomal or plasmid) may be incorporated
into the phage head instead of the phage DNA.
The phage particle can then transfer the
incorporated bacterial DNA into another bacterial
host.

2- Specialized Transduction:
During the process of detachment and induction
of lytic cycle , the prophage may carry with it
few genes of the bacterial chromosome. When it
infects another bacterium, it passes this
fragment to it giving it new characters. This is
known as "specialized transduction".

Practical Uses of Bacteriophages


1. Phages are used as cloning vectors in
recombinant DNA technology.

2. Phages are used as research elements in some


biological and genetic studies.
3. Phage typing:
Phages are used to identify and type strains of

bacteria