Mobil Genetic Elements -- Viruses and Plasmids

ID #1431

In regards to the prophage, I have written that the prophage can lose its ability to get out. Does this just mean that at times, the phage is never allowed to leave lysogeny and enter lysis?


Yes. The reason that a prophage can come back out of the host genome is because of the action of an enzyme that literally cuts it out of the chromosome. But things can happen, and if the cell acquires a mutation that prevents it from being able to synthesize this enzyme, the prophage forever loses the ability to excise and go down the lytic pathway. At this point, it's no longer ever going to be a threat to the bacterial cell and is a permanent part of the bacterial genome.

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