Bacteriophage Ecology Group

Bacteriophage Ecology Group Bacteriophage Ecology Group

Phage Receptor


The molecule or molecules that a phage binds to, reversibly or irreversibly, in the course of adsorption.

Receptor molecules include bacterial surface-located proteins, lipopolysaccharide, teichoic acids, etc., plus capsule material.

Confusingly, phage receptors also can be described as bacterial receptors (for phages) and the phage molecules that interact with phage receptors can be described as phage receptors, though for the sake of avoiding ambiguity, the term anti-receptor can be used instead for the latter.

From Gill and Young (2011), p. 403, "A component of the bacterial surface that is recognized by the receptor binding domains of the phage. Surface-exposed carbohydrates, membrane proteins, or surface organelles such as flagella or pili may be used as receptors by various phages."


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