T4 bacteriophages on E.coli. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of T4 bacteriophage viruses attacking a bacterial cell of Escherichia coli. Many viruses are seen, each with a swollen head and a tail. Bacteriophages infect only bacteria; T4 is a specific parasite of Escherichia coli. Bacteriophages occur in sewage, polluted water and faeces. T4 attaches itself to the cell wall of Escherichia coli with its tail. Viral DNA genetic material is then injected into the host cell. T4 DNA commandeers the bacterial cell to reproduce more T4 bacteriophage viruses. Magnification: x15,250 at 6x7cm size.
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