What is a bacteriophage?Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria. Bacteriophages can have a protein "tail" attached to the capsid (protein coat that envelopes the genetic material), which is used to infect the host bacteria.
What is a virus?Scientists have long sought to uncover the structure and function of viruses. Viruses are unique -- they have been classified as both living and nonliving at various points in the history of biology.
A virus particle, also known as a virion, is essentially a nucleic acid (DNA or RNA) enclosed in a protein shell or coat. Viruses are extremely small, approximately 15 - 25 nanometers in diameter.
Bacteriophage AnimationsBelow are some animations of the lytic life cycle of a bacteriophage.
The bacteriophage attaches to the cell wall of a bacterium.
The bacteriophage injects its genome into the bacterium.
This animation shows the replication of the viral genome.
Bacteriophages are released by lysis.
Summary of the entire lytic life cycle of a bacteriophage.