How a cell behaves as virocell largely depends on the infecting virus and the genomic similarity between host and virus. Pseudoalteromonas was infected with two unrelated viruses: siphovirus PSA-HS2 and podovirus PSA-HP1. The infections transformed the same bacterial host into two very different virocells, HS2-virocell and HP1-virocell. The HS2 siphovirus genome was much more similar to the host than the genome of HP1 podovirus and had better access to recycle existing host resources. In contrast, the HP1 podovirus needed to work harder at obtaining the resources needed for infection, and reprogrammed multiple host metabolisms. HS2 virocells had a comparatively higher fitness than HP1 virocells. (Figure by Cristina Howard-Varona)
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