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Host-Associated Bacteriophage Isolation and Preparation for Viral Metagenomics.

  • Author(s): Grasis, Juris A
  • et al.

Prokaryotic viruses, or bacteriophages, are viruses that infect bacteria and archaea. These viruses have been known to associate with host systems for decades, yet only recently have their influence on the regulation of host-associated bacteria been appreciated. These studies have been conducted in many host systems, from the base of animal life in the Cnidarian phylum to mammals. These prokaryotic viruses are useful for regulating the number of bacteria in a host ecosystem and for regulating the strains of bacteria useful for the microbiome. These viruses are likely selected by the host to maintain bacterial populations. Viral metagenomics allows researchers to profile the communities of viruses associating with animal hosts, and importantly helps to determine the functional role these viruses play. Further, viral metagenomics show the sphere of viral involvement in gene flow and gene shuffling in an ever-changing host environment. The influence of prokaryotic viruses could, therefore, have a clear impact on host health.

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