Transmission electron micrograph (TEM) showing lysis (destruction) of a rod-shaped bacterium by T4 bacteriophages (viruses that infect bacteria). Bacteriophages (light ovals with stalks) infect the bacterium, commanding the genetic machinery of the cell to code for its own replication. The bacteriophage population increases at the expense of the normal functioning of the cell. Weakened through neglect & overcrowed with bacteriophage progeny, the delicate plasma membrane binding the cells into a unit, bursts. The bacterium is destroyed; the bacteriophages are released to infect other cells. Mag: X 40,000 (10x8). R.Bijlenga).
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