MCAT Content / Virus Structure / Structural Aspects Of Typical Bacteriophage

Structural aspects of typical bacteriophage

Topic: Virus Structure

Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria and generally have three main components (head, tail, tail fibres).

bacteriophage, or phage for short, is a virus that infects bacteria. Like other types of viruses, bacteriophages vary a lot in their shape and genetic material.

Typically, a common bacteriophage has three main components: the head which stores genetic material, the tail, which is a passageway for genetic material to be injected into host bacteria. The end contains tail fibres which help the bacteriophage attach to the host bacteria.

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Key Points

• Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria.

• A typical bacteriophage has three main components: head, tail, and tail fibres.

Key Terms

bacteriophage: viruses that infect bacteria

head: stores phages’ genetic material

tail: passageway for phages’ genetic material to be injected into bacteria

tail fibres: help phages attach to the host bacteria

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