prophage

noun
pro·​phage | \ ˈprō-ˌfāj How to pronounce prophage (audio) , -ˌfäzh \

Definition of prophage

: an intracellular form of a bacteriophage in which it is harmless to the host, is usually integrated into the hereditary material of the host, and reproduces when the host does

Examples of prophage in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Once activated, the prophage cuts itself out of the bacterial genome, replicates and then packages its DNA into phages. Quanta Magazine, 16 Oct. 2018 Known as a prophage, this stretch of foreign DNA can persist for generations before activating. Quanta Magazine, 16 Oct. 2018 In the right conditions—say, if the bacteria are damaged, stressed, or exposed to certain conditions—prophages can awaken. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 1 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prophage.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of prophage

1951, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for prophage

pro- entry 1 + phage after French probactériophage, from pro- pro- entry 1 + bactériophage bacteriophage

Note: The French word probactériophage was introduced by André Lwoff and Antoinette Gutmann in "Recherches sur un Bacillus megatherium lysogène," Annales de l'Institut Pasteur, vol. 78, no. 6 (June, 1950), p. 734.

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Time Traveler for prophage

Time Traveler

The first known use of prophage was in 1951

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Last Updated

18 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Prophage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prophage. Accessed 22 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for prophage

prophage

noun
pro·​phage | \ ˈprō-ˌfāj How to pronounce prophage (audio) , -ˌfäzh How to pronounce prophage (audio) \

Medical Definition of prophage

: an intracellular form of a bacteriophage in which it is harmless to the host, is usually integrated into the hereditary material of the host, and reproduces when the host does

More from Merriam-Webster on prophage

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about prophage

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