HK97 bacteriophage capsid

HK97 bacteriophage capsid

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Credit: LAGUNA DESIGN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: HK97 bacteriophage capsid, molecular model. Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria, in this case enterobacteria such as Escherichia coli, with the phage head shown here. In viruses, the capsid is the protein shell that encloses the genetic material. A capsid consists of subunits called capsomeres that self-assemble to form the shell seen here. Here, this shell, approximately spherical in shape, has icosahedral symmetry. One of the functions of the capsid is to aid the transmission of the viral genetic material into host cells.

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