The T Bacteriophages

Rowland H. Davis

in The Microbial Models of Molecular Biology

Published in print September 2003 | ISBN: 9780195154368
Published online April 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199893935 | DOI:
The T Bacteriophages

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The discovery of bacteriophages initiated a long controversy about their nature. Were they intracellular parasites, a stage of the bacterial life cycle, or symbionts with the bacterium (which might be likened to the alga-fungus relationship in lichens)? Or were they perhaps infective entities below the level of the living, or lethal substances that triggered bacterial cells to make and release more of the same substance? These considerations reflect the uncertainty at the time, not only about the nature of bacteriophage, but also about the nature of the bacterial cell itself. This chapter discusses early studies on bacteriophages, including those by Henry J. Muller, Max Delbrück, Emory Ellis, and Salvador Luria.

Keywords: bacteriophages; model organisms; model systems; Henry J. Muller; Max Delbr ück; Emory Ellis; Salvador Luria

Chapter.  5803 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biochemistry

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