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published: 03 Apr 2017 last updated: 29 Jun 2020
Escherichia virus Lambda
|Species||Escherichia virus Lambda|
- Bacteriophage Lambda
- Enterobacteria Phage Lambda
- Coliphage Lambda
Enterobacteria phage λ was discovered by Esther Lederberg in 1950.
Enterobacteria phage λ is a bacterial virus that infects the bacterial species Escherichia coli. During infection, the phage particle recognizes and binds to its host, E. coli, causing DNA in the head of the phage to be ejected through the tail into the cytoplasm of the bacterial cell. Usually, a "lytic cycle" ensues, where the lambda DNA is replicated and new phage particles are produced within the cell. This is followed by cell lysis, releasing the cell contents, including virions that have been assembled, into the environment. However, under certain conditions, the phage DNA may integrate itself into the host cell chromosome in the lysogenic pathway. In this state, the λ DNA is called a prophage and stays resident within the host's genome without apparent harm to the host.