The Diverse Impacts of Phage Morons on Bacterial Fitness and Virulence.
Adv Virus Res. 2019;103:1-31
Authors: Taylor VL, Fitzpatrick AD, Islam Z, Maxwell KL
The viruses that infect bacteria, known as phages, are the most abundant biological entity on earth. They play critical roles in controlling bacterial populations through phage-mediated killing, as well as through formation of bacterial lysogens. In this form, the survival of the phage depends on the survival of the bacterial host in which it resides. Thus, it is advantageous for phages to encode genes that contribute to bacterial fitness and expand the environmental niche. In many cases, these fitness factors also make the bacteria better able to survive in human infections and are thereby considered pathogenesis or virulence factors. The genes that encode these fitness factors, known as "morons," have been shown to increase bacterial fitness through a wide range of mechanisms and play important roles in bacterial diseases. This review outlines the benefits provided by phage morons in various aspects of bacterial life, including phage and antibiotic resistance, motility, adhesion and quorum sensing.
PMID: 30635074 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]