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FEMS Microbiol Rev. 2006 May;30(3):321-81.

Bacteriophage replication modules.

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Max-Planck-Institut für molekulare Genetik, Berlin, Germany.


Bacteriophages (prokaryotic viruses) are favourite model systems to study DNA replication in prokaryotes, and provide examples for every theoretically possible replication mechanism. In addition, the elucidation of the intricate interplay of phage-encoded replication factors with 'host' factors has always advanced the understanding of DNA replication in general. Here we review bacteriophage replication based on the long-standing observation that in most known phage genomes the replication genes are arranged as modules. This allows us to discuss established model systems--f1/fd, phiX174, P2, P4, lambda, SPP1, N15, phi29, T7 and T4--along with those numerous phages that have been sequenced but not studied experimentally. The review of bacteriophage replication mechanisms and modules is accompanied by a compendium of replication origins and replication/recombination proteins (available as supplementary material online).

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