DR L. CARO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR L. CARO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
False-colour transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of a male Escherichia coli bacterium (bottom left) conjugating with two females. Sex between bacteria was discovered in 1946, and involves transfer of DNA. Maleness in E. coli is associated with long, hollow surface hairs called F-pili. This male has attached 2 F-pili to each of the females & DNA is transferred between them through their hollow cores. The tiny bodies that cover the F-pili are MS2 bacteriophages, a type of virus that attacks bacteria & binds specifically to F- pili. Magnification: x11,250 at 6x7cm size, x5000 at 35mm size. Rossdale colouring. Original is BW print B230/025. Reference: MICROCOSMOS, figure 5.11, page 94.
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