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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2003 Aug;6(4):417-24.

Phage as agents of lateral gene transfer.

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Nestlé Research Centre, CH-1000 Lausanne 26, Vers-chez-les-Blanc, Switzerland.


When establishing lysogeny, temperate phages integrate their genome as a prophage into the bacterial chromosome. Prophages thus constitute in many bacteria a substantial part of laterally acquired DNA. Some prophages contribute lysogenic conversion genes that are of selective advantage to the bacterial host. Occasionally, phages are also involved in the lateral transfer of other mobile DNA elements or bacterial DNA. Recent advances in the field of genomics have revealed a major impact by phages on bacterial chromosome evolution.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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