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2 definitions found
 for bacteriophage
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  bacteriophage \bacteriophage\ n. sing. & pl.
     a virus which infects bacteria; -- also colloquially called
     phage in laboratory jargon.
     Note: Bacteriophages are of many varieties, generally
           specific for one or a narrow range of bacterial
           species, and almost every bacterium is susceptible to
           at least one bacteriophage. They may have DNA or RNA as
           their genetic component. Certain types of
           bacteriophage, called
     temperate bacteriophage, may infect but not kill their host
        bacteria, residing in and replicating either as a plasmid
        or integrated into the host genome. Under certain
        conditions, a resident temperate phage may become induced
        to multiply rapidly and vegetatively, killing and lysing
        its host bacterium, and producing multiple progeny. The
        lambda phage of Eschericia coli, much studied in
        biochemical and genetic research, is of the temperate
        [PJC] bacteriophagic

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      n 1: a virus that is parasitic (reproduces itself) in bacteria;
           "phage uses the bacterium's machinery and energy to produce
           more phage until the bacterium is destroyed and phage is
           released to invade surrounding bacteria" [syn:
           bacteriophage, phage]

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