LAGUNA DESIGN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LAGUNA DESIGN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Alpha 3 bacteriophage capsid, molecular model. Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria, with the capsid forming the bacteriophage 'head'. A capsid has subunits called capsomeres. This bacteriophage capsid has coat proteins (dark green) and 12 pentameric (5-subunit) spike proteins (light green). The spikes allow the virus to recognise and bind to host cells. The capsid encloses the genetic material of this virus, which occurs in single-stranded DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) form. One of the capsid functions is to aid transmission of the viral genetic material into host cells.
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