Adsorption: Phage Acquisition of Bacteria

Living reference work entry


To infect, a virion must first encounter a bacterium, where “encounter” essentially is a euphemism for “collision.” That is, a virion must physically touch a target bacterium to enable attachment. Indeed, phage acquisition of a bacterium to infect typically will consist of a combination of virion movement (including but not exclusively via diffusion), virion encounter with a target bacterium, virion reversible attachment to that bacterium, subsequent irreversible attachment, and then phage-genome translocation into a bacterium’s cytoplasm. Many of these concepts often are lumped under the heading of phage adsorption, and in this chapter we review these various aspects of phage adsorption/acquisition of bacteria. As companion chapters covering what happens either following or because of phage adsorption, see also chapters “Phage Infection and Lysis,” “Bacteriophage Ecology,” and “Bacteriophage Pharmacology and Immunology”.



JJD acknowledges financial support from the National Institutes of Health NIGMS through grant number 1R01GM124446-01. We also appreciate discussions with Ian Molineux and Dennis Bamford about phage infection mechanisms.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biology DepartmentQueens College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New YorkNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of MicrobiologyThe Ohio State UniversityMansfieldUSA

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