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This article is about biological strains. For other meanings, see strain.

In biology, Strain can be used in three ways.


A strain is a genetic variant or subtype of a virus or bacterium. For example, a "flu strain" is a certain biological form of the influenza or "flu" virus. Compare clade.


A strain is sometimes used to indicate a group of plants with similar (but not identical) appearance and/or properties. The term has no official status.


A mouse or a rat strain is a group of animals that is genetically uniform. Strains are used in laboratory experiments. Mouse strains can be inbred, mutant or genetically engineered, rat strains are usually inbred.

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