Phenotypic heterogeneity in a bacteriophage population only appears as stress-induced mutagenesis

Ido Yosef, Rotem Edgar, Udi Qimron*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Stress-induced mutagenesis has been studied in cancer cells, yeast, bacteria, and archaea, but not in viruses. In a recent publication, we present a bacteriophage model showing an apparent stress-induced mutagenesis. We show that the stress does not drive the mutagenesis, but only selects the fittest mutants. The mechanism underlying the observed phenomenon is a phenotypic heterogeneity that resembles persistence of the viral population. The new findings, the background for the ongoing debate on stress-induced mutagenesis, and the phenotypic heterogeneity underlying a novel phage infection strategy are discussed in this short manuscript.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)771-773
Number of pages3
JournalCurrent Genetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2016


FundersFunder number
European Research Council336079
Israel Science Foundation268/14
Ministry of Health, State of Israel9988-3


    • Cryptic growth
    • Darwin
    • Lamarck
    • Natural selection
    • Phage resistance


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