Bacteriophage Ecology Group

Bacteriophage Ecology Group Bacteriophage Ecology Group

Phage Particle


A virion that is competent to adsorb a bacterium.

A phage particle need not be free. It is an open question, however, whether completeness is a necessary property, particularly given losses of structures upon decay. The term incomplete phage particle, though, can be used to contrast that of complete phage particle.

While 'phage particle' might appear to be a redundancy, in fact there is a distinction between phages as particles and phages as infections, and thus precision can require explicit indication that in fact it is the particle (= virion) that is being referenced. See also phage virion, virus particle, and virion particle.

Of interest, the term 'phage particle' is somewhat more prevalent online than are either 'phage virion' or even 'virion particle' (versus 'phage particle', all as Google searches in quotes); see also 'virus particle'. In addition, the plurals of 'phage particles' and 'virion particles' are more prevalent than the equivalent singulars, though the opposite is true for 'phage virions'; as above, see also 'virus particles'.


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