Virulent or lytic cycle

Virulent or lytic cycle:

Intra cellular multiplication of the phage finishes in the lysis of the host bacterium and the discharge of progeny virions. The replication of a virulent phage occurs in the stages shown below:

646_lutic cycle.jpg

 Figure: Lysogenic and Lytic cycle of a phage

1. Adsorption:

The attachment of phage to the surface of susceptible bacteria by means of its tail is termed as adsorption. Host specificity of the phage is found out in the adsorption stage of the cycle itself. Artificial injection through direct injection of phage DNA can be attained even in strains of bacteria which are not susceptible to the phage. The infection of bacteria by the naked phage nucleic acid is termed as transfection.

2. Penetration:

The procedure of penetration resembles injection via a syringe. The phage DNA is injected into the bacterial cell via the hollow core. Subsequent to penetration the empty head and the tail of the phage stay outside the bacterium as the shell.

3. Synthesis of phage components:

During this phase synthesis of bacterial protein, RNA, and DNA ceases. On other hand, phage DNA, head protein and tail protein are synthesized independently in the bacterial cell. The DNA is closely ‘packaged’ inside the polyhedron head and at last the tail structures are added.

4. Maturation:

The assembly of phage components into mature infectious phage particle is termed as Maturation.

5. Release of phages:

Discharge of phages typically occurs by the lysis of the bacterial cell.  During the duplication of phages, the bacterial cell wall is destabilized and it supposes a spherical shape and at last burst or lyse. Mature daughter phages are discharged.


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