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Type of life cycle that takes place in a bacteriophage after it infects certain types of bacteria. The bacteriophage's genome (entire collection of genes) enters the chromosome of the host bacterium and replicates together with it. No offspring viruses are produced; instead, the infecting virus lies dormant within the host's chromosome until the host is exposed to certain stimuli, such as ultraviolet light. At that point, the virus genome is removed from the host chromosome and begins to multiply, forming new viruses. Finally, the bacterial host is destroyed (lysed), releasing virus particles into the environment to infect new bacterial cells.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on lysogeny, visit Britannica.com.