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The bacterium from which a phage has originated, that is, following its release from that cell.
The idea of parental infection is useful when bacteria can be distinguished in some manner that modifies the properties of the resulting phages. For example, this can be in terms of DNA modification or, alternatively, can be in reference to the spatial location of the infection.
In efficiency of center of infection determinations, phage plaques are formed from infections in which the parental bacteria differ, typically genetically, from the bacteria that otherwise serve as indicator bacteria. With preadsorption more generally, the location of the parental infection determines the approximate center of the resulting plaque.
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