One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A genetic element inside some bacterial cells, especially the DNA of some bacteriophages, that can replicate independently of the host and also in association with a chromosome with which it becomes integrated.Compare with plasmid
- ‘The uppermost cell in a colony has a conical episome; the bottom cell in a colony has a bilobed hyposome.’
- ‘Interestingly, overexpression of the functional wild-type HA-Mcm7p from an episome or an integrated allele was toxic for normal cell growth and viability.’
- ‘Lieberman and his colleagues found that the three telomeric proteins might help Epstein-Barr virus episomes persist in cells.’
- ‘This attribute does not appear to be a feature of other independently isolated episomes, including episomes that cover the same portion of the E. coli chromosome that is included in F'128.’
- ‘During latent infection, the viral genome persists as an episome, and viral gene expression is highly restricted.’
1930s (denoting a particle postulated as a constituent of a gene): from epi- + -some.
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