Prophages and Their Contribution to Host Cell Phenotype
W. Michael McShan and Joseph J. Ferretti
from: Bacteriophage: Genetics and Molecular Biology (Edited by: Stephen Mc Grath and Douwe van Sinderen). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2007)
In many bacterial species, prophages figure prominently in the biology of these cells, often conferring key phenotypes that can convert a non-pathogenic strain into a pathogen. The source of these phenotypic changes can be through prophage-encoded toxins, bacterial cell surface alterations, or resistance to the human immune system. Further, prophage integration into the host genome can inactivate or alter the expression of host genes. In addition to these direct genetic alterations associated with the addition or inactivation of genes, prophages can also alter the phenotype of bacteria at the population level by facilitating the spread of favorable genes through transduction read more ...