Bacteria-virus coevolution

Angus Buckling, Michael Brockhurst

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Phages, viruses of bacteria, are ubiquitous. Many phages require host cell death to successfully complete their life cycle, resulting in reciprocal evolution of bacterial resistance and phage infectivity (antagonistic coevolution). Such coevolution can have profound consequences at all levels of biological organisation. Here, we review genetic and ecological factors that contribute to determining coevolutionary dynamics between bacteria and phages. We also consider some of the consequences of bacteria-phage coevolution, such as determining rates of molecular evolution and structuring communities, and how these in turn feedback into driving coevolutionary dynamics.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEvolutionary Systems Biology
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages24
ISBN (Print)9781461435662
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)0065-2598


  • Coevolution
  • Parasites
  • Genetic diversity


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