Lysogenization

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Lysogenization

 

the conversion of nonlysogenic bacterial cells into lysogenic ones by the infection of the former with temperate bacteriophages.

In the process of lysogenization, the DNA of a temperate (nonvirulent) bacteriophage is incorporated into the structure of a bacterial DNA and remains in it in latent, noninfectious form (prophage). The frequency of lysogenization, that is, the ratio of the number of lysogenized cells to the total number of cells infected, depends on temperature, composition of the nutrient medium, and other factors. The frequency increases with a decrease in the metabolic level of the bacteria and is used in characterizing temperate phages. The mechanism of lysogenization has not been elucidated conclusively.