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, "‘Broadband’ Networks of Viruses May Help Bacteria Evolve Faster," 16 Oct. 2018 Known as a prophage, this stretch of foreign DNA can persist for generations before activating. Quanta Magazine, "‘Broadband’ Networks of Viruses May Help Bacteria Evolve Faster," 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, "Never-before-seen viruses that can kill bacteria stream from women’s bladders," 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

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Time Traveler for prophage

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The first known use of prophage was in 1951

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Cite this Entry

“Prophage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prophage. Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

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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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