AMI IMAGES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY AMI IMAGES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
T4 bacteriophages on E. coli. Transmission electron micrograph of two T4 bacteriophage virus particles on the surface of an Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacterium, and one inside the bacterium. 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 only infects E. coli bacteria.
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