Weitz Group @ Georgia Tech Theoretical Ecology and Quantitative Biology

Bacteria-infecting viruses make collective decisions about whether to kill host cell

Posted by admin

A new study suggests that bacteria-infecting viruses called phages can make collective decisions about whether to kill host cells immediately after infection or enter a latent state to remain within the host cell.

The research, published in the September 15 issue of the Biophysical Journal, shows that when multiple viruses infect a cell, this increases the number of viral genomes and therefore the overall level of viral gene expression. Changes in viral gene expression can have a dramatic nonlinear effect on gene networks that control whether viruses burst out of the host cell or enter a latent state.

News releases: GaTech, Physorg.com, Science Daily, Biology News Net.

Read the full article online on Biophysical Journal.