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Bacteriophage reproductive strategies

Bacteriophage reproductive strategies

M090/0090

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Credit

RUSSELL KIGHTLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RUSSELL KIGHTLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption

Bacteriophage reproductive strategies. Artwork of bacteriophages (bacteria-attacking viruses) that are attached (upper left) to a bacterium (yellow) to inject their DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid, red). The inside of the bacterial cell then shows two different reproductive processes. The fast lytic process (left) is when the DNA quickly replicates and instructs the bacterial cell to produce new bacteriophages that burst out of the bacterium (lower left), killing it. The lysogenic process (right) involves the viral DNA being incorporated into a bacterial DNA loop (chromosome, green) and remaining dormant as a provirus as the bacterium reproduces. It can later start a lytic cycle.

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