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Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2011 Jun;22(3):449-55. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2011.01.012. Epub 2011 Feb 25.

Bacteriophage ecology in environmental biotechnology processes.

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Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Biotechnology Engineering, POb 653, Beer sheva 84105, Israel.


Heterotrophic bacteria are an integral part of any environmental biotechnology process (EBP). Therefore, factors controlling bacterial abundance, activity, and community composition are central to the understanding of such processes. Among these factors, top-down control by bacteriophage predation has so far received very limited attention. With over 10(8) particles per ml, phage appear to be the most numerous biological entities in EBP. Phage populations in EBP appear to be highly dynamic and to correlate with the population dynamics of their hosts and genomic evidence suggests bacteria evolve to avoid phage predation. Clearly, there is much to learn regarding bacteriophage in EBP before we can truly understand the microbial ecology of these globally important systems.

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