Verhandlungen pp 1469-1469 | Cite as

Structure of bacteriophage

  • S. Brenner


Structural components of bacteriophages T 2, T 4 and T 6 have been isolated and purified. The components have been characterized by their physical, chemical and serological properties. Each phage consists of a hexagonal head, which encloses the DNA, and a tail. The tails are constructed of three components: tail fibres, sheaths and cores. The sheaths are capable of „contraction“ and contracted sheaths show a helical structure in the electron microscope. The cores are hollow; the hole down the middle is about 30 Å in diameter. A new technique of preparation for electron microscopy, which will be briefly described, permits a study of the fine structure of intact and disintegrated phage and also a study of the assembly of the particle, by interfering with assembly by means of proflavin and mutational changes. Previous work was discussed in the light of the new findings.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1960

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Brenner
    • 1
  1. 1.Unit for Molecular Biology, Cavendish LaboratoryMedical Res. CouncilCambridgeEngland

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