The bacteriophages that attack Escherichia coli are termed coliphages, examples of these are lambda phage and the T even phages, T2, T4 and T6. Basically, phages consist of a protein coat or capsid enclosing the genetic material, DNA or RNA, that is injected into the bacterium upon infection. In the case of virulent phages all synthesis of host DNA, RNA and proteins ceases and the phage genome is used to direct the synthesis of phage nucleic acids and proteins using the host's transcriptional and translational apparatus.
(15 Nov 1997)
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