Definition of prophage in English:



  • The genetic material of a bacteriophage, incorporated into the genome of a bacterium and able to produce phages if specifically activated.

    • ‘This phenomenon is similar to suicidal defense against phage infection, or phage exclusion, programmed by prophages and plasmids, and may well play a similar role.’
    • ‘It is now known that phages produced by lysogenic bacteria are of the temperate type and that part of the infected bacteria do not lyse but maintain the phage in a latent form called a prophage (lysogenic response).’
    • ‘Specialized transducing phages generated from the prophage by illegitimate recombination usually contain the E. coli genes gal or bio that are adjacent to the phage genome.’
    • ‘The incorporation of plasmids or prophages into the bacterial chromosomes is called transfection.’
    • ‘To visualize the expression of genes of all 10 prophage and prophage-like regions, the DNA macro-array technique was used.’


1950s: from pro- before + phage.