Fitness in bacteriophages
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Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria. Since their first description in 1915 a myriad of studies investigating numerous topics of molecular biology were carried out using bacteriophages. In addition to groundbreaking discoveries in the fields of genetics and virology, bacteriophages were also used to investigate the role of mutations and their influence on fitness and evolutionary progress. The purpose of this review is to give an overview of the insights gained about fitness studies in bacteriophages, particularly focusing on fitness studies using the plaque assay technique and mathematical modelling on the propagation velocity of said plaques, as well as direct comparisons of fitness by competition assays of different phages. Furthermore, discrete episodes of the phage life cycle shall be analysed in the context of fitness states.