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1.  Bacteriophage behavioral ecology 
Bacteriophage  2014;4:e29866.
Bacteriophages have an essential gene kit that enables their invasion, replication, and production. In addition to this “core” genome, they can carry “accessory” genes that dramatically impact bacterial biology, and presumably boost their own success. The content of phage genomes continue to surprise us by revealing new ways that viruses impact bacterial biology. The genome of a Clostridium difficile myovirus, phiCDHM1, contains homologs of three bacterial accessory gene regulator (agr) genes. The agr system is a type of quorum sensing (QS), via which the phage may modify C. difficile interactions with its environment. Although their mechanism of action is unknown, mutants in bacterial versions of these genes impact sporulation and virulence. To explore how phage QS genes may influence C. difficile biology, we examine the main categories of bacterial behavior that phages have been shown to influence and discuss how interactions via QS could influence behavior at a wider level.
doi:10.4161/bact.29866
PMCID: PMC4124054  PMID: 25105060
bacteriophage; bacterial physiology; sporulation; Clostridium difficile; accessory gene regulator; microbial ecology; microbial interactions; quorum sensing; autoinducing peptide; accessory gene
2.  Phages in nature 
Bacteriophage  2011;1(1):31-45.
Bacteriophages or phages are the most abundant organisms in the biosphere and they are a ubiquitous feature of prokaryotic existence. A bacteriophage is a virus which infects a bacterium. Archaea are also infected by viruses, whether these should be referred to as ‘phages’ is debatable, but they are included as such in the scope this article. Phages have been of interest to scientists as tools to understand fundamental molecular biology, as vectors of horizontal gene transfer and drivers of bacterial evolution, as sources of diagnostic and genetic tools and as novel therapeutic agents. Unraveling the biology of phages and their relationship with their hosts is key to understanding microbial systems and their exploitation. In this article we describe the roles of phages in different host systems and show how modeling, microscopy, isolation, genomic and metagenomic based approaches have come together to provide unparalleled insights into these small but vital constituents of the microbial world.
doi:10.4161/bact.1.1.14942
PMCID: PMC3109452  PMID: 21687533
bacteriophage; ecology; cyanophages; archaeal viruses; animal microbiome

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