b. a lytic pathway
Work Step by Step
In the lytic pathway, the bacteriophage attaches to a bacterial cell and injects its genetic material into the host bacterial cell. Once inside, the bacteriophage makes more copies of itself. Once the host bacterium can no longer contain all of the newly made bacteriophages, the bacterial cell bursts open and releases all the bacteriophages into the environment. The lysogenic pathway is also an option the bacteriophage can take. Once the genetic material enters the bacterial cell, it becomes part of the host bacterium's DNA. When the bacterial cell divides, its DNA is also replicated and passed on to the daughter cells. Within the DNA of these daughter cells is also the genetic material of the bacteriophage. The host cell is not destroyed in this process. Binary fission is just the division of a cell into two and has nothing to do with the destruction of the bacterial cell.