Bacteriophage Ecology Group

Bacteriophage Ecology Group Bacteriophage Ecology Group

Bred Phage


A phage that has been subject to selection such as for modification in host range.

Note the complementarity between on the one hand bacteriophage-insensitive mutants – which are bacteria, a.k.a., BIMs – and bred phages on the other if breeding results in alteration in phage host range. That is, BIMs are phage-escape mutants whereas phages can be bred to overcome this resistance.

Breeding of phages is essentially equivalent to experimental adaptation of phages to particular conditions or hosts. This is a process that phagologists have been subjecting phages to almost since the discovery of phages, whether as a means of increasing phage virulence or related efforts to modify phage host range.

Phage breeding can involve serial passage of phages. Another example of this process is the selection for phages that resist elimination from blood as mediated by the mouse reticuloendothelial system (a.k.a., mononuclear phagocytic system).

For further consideration of phage breeding, especially from a more microbial population biology/evolutionary perspective, see Bull (2008).


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