BIOZENTRUM, UNIVERSITY OF BASEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY. BIOZENTRUM, UNIVERSITY OF BASEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.
Transmission electron micrograph (TEM) showing the start of lysis (destruction) of a rod-shaped bacterium by T4 bacteriophages (viruses that infect bacteria). Bacteriophages (ovals with stalks) infect the bacterium, commanding the cell's genetic machinery to code for its own replication. The bacteriophage population grows at the expense of the normal functioning of the cell. Weakened through neglect & overcrowded with bacteriophages, the plasma membrane binding the cell into a unit bursts. The bacterium is destroyed; the bacteriophages are released to infect other cells. Mag: X 40,000 (10x8).
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