Moron (bacteriophage)

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A moron, in the context of bacteriophage genetics, is an extra gene in a prophage genome without a function in the phage's lysogenic cycle.[1] These genes may code for products beneficial to the phage's bacterial host, as with the example of gp15 of phage HK97 serving as a superinfection exclusion protein. The term moron comes from the notion that the additional genes mean that these bacteriophage genomes have "more on" them.[2]


  1. ^ Brüssow, Harald; Canchaya, Carlos; Hardt, Wolf-Dietrich (September 2004). "Phages and the Evolution of Bacterial Pathogens: from Genomic Rearrangements to Lysogenic Conversion". Microbiol Mol Biol Rev. 68 (3): 560–602. doi:10.1128/mmbr.68.3.560-602.2004. PMC 515249.
  2. ^ Cumby, N; Davidson, AR; Maxwell, KL (2012). "The moron comes of age". Bacteriophage. 2 (4): 225–228. doi:10.4161/bact.23146. PMC 3594210. PMID 23739268.