Lysogenic Conversion

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Lysogenic Conversion

 

phage conversion; a change in the properties of a bacterial cell as a result of its infection with a temperate bacteriophage. For example, a number of strains of the diphtheria bacillus acquire the capacity to form diphtheria toxin immediately after penetration of the phage into the cell and retain that capacity until the moment of the cell’s dissolution (lysis). If lysogenization (the inclusion of a temperate phage in the genome of the bacterium in the form of a prophage) occurs as a result of the infection, the newly acquired properties become hereditary. Loss of the prophage leads to the loss by the bacterium of the properties that originated during the lysogenic conversion. Thus, lysogenic conversion is due to the addition to the bacterial genome of new genetic information, introduced into the bacterial cell by the phage genome.

Changes in the properties of a bacterium through infection with a temperate phage can also result from transduction. However, unlike the changes brought about by transduction, those resulting from lysogenic conversion last only as long as the phage or prophage is present in the cell. Lysogenic conversion may result in inhibition or intensification of enzyme activity or changes in pathogenic properties, colony morphology, or resistance to antibiotics.

A. N. MAISURIAN

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Lysogenic conversion by a filamentous phage encoding cholera toxin.
Among the topics are bacteriophage biology and diversity, applying them to control pathogens in food animal production, potential use as indicators of water quality and wastewater treatment processes, the lysogenic conversion in bacteria of importance to the food industry, controlling infectious diseases in aquaculture, and coverage and safety issues controlling bacterial diarrhea with phages.
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Papers giving general information include the history of phage research and therapy, phage biology, bacteriophage evolution and the role of phages in host evolution, phage ecology and bacteria pathogenesis, phage lysis, and lysogeny, prophage induction and lysogenic conversion. Those on how phages contribute to virulence include lambdoid phages and shiga toxin, the prophage arsenal of Salmonella enterica serovar typhimurium, pathogenic vibrios, Bordetella and mycoplasma phages, mycobacteriophages, phage involvement with bacterial vaginosis, botulism, and diphtheria, and staphylococcal, streptococcal, pneumococcal phages.