Chapter

Understanding Evolution through the Phages

Samantha E. Forde and Christine M. Jessup

in Experimental Evolution

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780520247666
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520944473 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520247666.003.0014
Understanding Evolution through the Phages

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This chapter focuses on empirical tests of evolutionary theory using viruses, specifically bacteriophage or phage, beginning by reviewing phage biology and the phage life cycle, and then describing laboratory procedures for cultivating phage and assaying fitness. It also reviews the theoretical models that have been used to describe phage ecology and evolution, in order to emphasize the advantages of using phage experimental systems to test theoretical predictions. The chapter then discusses recent phage experiments that have investigated the genetic basis and molecular mechanisms underlying adaptation. Finally, it emphasizes that the insights gained from experimental evolution studies with phage have important implications not only for phage ecology and evolution, but also for predator–prey and host–parasite interactions in general.

Keywords: evolutionary theory; viruses; bacteriophage; phage; adaptation; experimental evolution

Chapter.  12236 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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