Difference Between Lytic and Lysogenic Cycle

Lytic and Lysogenic cycles are the method of viral multiplication. Lytic cycle, comparitively more common, is a method of viral multiplication wherein the virus attacks a host cell. It destroys the host cell totally by feeding on the metabolism of the host in order to multiply. Lysogenic cycle, not a common method of viral reproduction, majorly is dependant on the lytic cycle. In this method, the virus unites its genetic details with that of the host, turning  dormant and lets the host to reproduce while continuing its regular activities. Although similar at times, understanding the difference between lytic cycle and lysogenic cycle is important.

Lytic vs Lysogenic Cycle

Lytic Cycle Lysogenic Cycle
The DNA of the virus doesn’t integrate into the host DNA The DNA of the virus integrates into the host DNA
Host DNA hydrolyzed Host DNA not hydrolyzed
Absence of prophage stage Presence of prophage stage
DNA replication of virus takes place independently from the host DNA replication DNA replication of the virus takes place along with the host DNA replication
Occurs within a short period of time Takes time
Symptoms of viral replication are evident Symptoms of viral replication not evident
Genetic recombination in the host bacterium not allowed Genetic recombination in the host bacterium allowed
The cellular mechanism of the host cell is totally undertaken by the viral genome The cellular mechanism of the host cell is somewhat disturbed by the viral genome

The main difference between the lysogenic cycle and lytic cycle is their influence on the host cell. At BYJU’S, learn more differences like the difference between replication and transcription.


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  1. Can lysogenic phase changes into lytic phase?

    • In these events lysogenic viruses may enter the lytic cycle –

      Directly – Direct entry into the lytic cycle
      Forming a symbiotic association with its host cell by integration of genome with genome of host. Then it stays dormant before the induction of the lytic cycle
      A few can be induced in the lytic cycle when the host cell is exposed to UV rays or certain chemicals