Phage biology

Phage biology is the scientific discipline concerned with the study of all biological aspects of bacteriophages (phages), which are viruses that infect bacteria. This includes the distribution, biochemistry, physiology, cell biology, ecology, evolution and applications of phages.

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Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News & Views |

    Bacteriophages fight back with the double whammy of an anti-CRISPR protein and integration into the CRISPR array to protect themselves from the CRISPR–Cas9 immune system of Streptococcus pyogenes.

    • Joseph Bondy-Denomy
    Nature Microbiology 6, 1475-1476
  • News & Views |

    Diverse CRISPR–Cas systems protect prokaryotes against invasive genetic elements like phages. A new study finds that evolution has fused a multi-subunit CRISPR complex into a single protein that cuts RNA and interacts with an ancillary caspase-like peptidase, which may trigger cell suicide.

    • Megan L. Hochstrasser
    •  & James K. Nuñez
    Nature Microbiology 6, 1481-1482
  • Comments & Opinion
    | Open Access

    An outcome of phage infection, lateral transduction, has been shown to mobilize chromosomal genes between bacterial cells at rates that exceed those of mobile genetic elements such as plasmids. Does this mean that the bacterial chromosome should be considered a mobile genetic element?

    • James P. J. Hall
  • Research Highlights |

    This study reports that bacteriocins are encoded in temperate phages, and that they can be transferred between bacterial hosts, which provides a competitive advantage.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • News & Views |

    Bacteria use CRISPR–Cas systems as adaptive defence weapons against attacking phages. A new study shows that under severe stress conditions, Serratia turn off their CRISPR immune system to increase the uptake of potentially beneficial plasmids.

    • Beat Christen
    Nature Microbiology 6, 149-150