Barksdale, Lane Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, New York University Medical Center, New York, New York.
- Phage infection and lysis
- Mutants and genetic recombination
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Any of the viruses that infect bacterial cells. Bacteriophages are discrete particles, with dimensions ranging from approximately 20–200 nanometers. A given bacterial virus can infect only one or a few related species of bacteria; these constitute its host range. Bacteriophages consist of two essential components: nucleic acid, in which genetic information is encoded (this may be either ribonucleic acid, in the RNA phages, or deoxyribonucleic acid, in the DNA phages); and a protein coat (capsid), which serves as a protective shell that contains the nucleic acid and is involved in the efficiency of infection and the host range of the virus. See also: Bacteria; Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA); Nucleic acid; Ribonucleic acid (RNA); Virus
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