T4 bacteriophage. Transmission electron micrograph of a T4 bacteriophage virus particle. A bacteriophage is a virus that infects bacteria. It consists of an icosahedral (20-sided) head (lower right), which contains the genetic material, a tail (cylinder) and tail fibres (leg-like), which fix it to a specific receptor site. Once attached to a bacterium, the bacteriophage injects its DNA and the bacterium's cellular mechanisms are used to produce more bacteriophages. The T4 bacteriophage infects Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria.
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