Structure and Life Cycle of Bacteriophage

Write structure and life cycle of Bacteriophage?

STRUCTURE OF T4:

The structure under an electron microscope looks like a tadpole and consists of a head and tail.

(1) Head:

(i) The head is elongated having:

      (a) Pyramidal (having two triangular structures with a common base).

      (b) Hexagonal or

      (c) Prism-shaped structure.

(ii) To it straight tail is attached.

(iii) Head contains double-stranded DNA.


(2) Tail:

The structure of the tail is more complex than the head.

(i) Tail has a core of protein which is surrounded by a sheath of another protein.

(ii) On one side of the sheath is the collar and on the other side is the end plate (Base plate).

(iii) Six tail fibers are attached to the end plate. These fibers are for attachment.


Volume of Phage:

It is about 1/1000 of the host.


Life Cycle of Bacteriophages:

The bacteriophage replicates only inside the bacterial cell. There are many steps in replication.


(1) Attachment (Adsorption) of Phage to the Host Cell:

(i) First of all the bacteriophage attaches to the bacterial cell at the receptor site. The receptor sites are present on the cell wall of the bacterium.

(ii) During attachment, weak chemical union occurs between virion and receptor site.


(2) Penetration:

In this step, the tail releases the enzyme lysozyme. This enzyme dissolves a portion of the bacterial cell wall.

The tail sheath contracts and the tail core is forced into the cell through the cell wall and cell membrane.

The virus injects its DNA into the cell (just as the syringe is used to inject the vaccine).

The protein coat, consisting of head and tail, remains outside the cell.

Many animal viruses enter the host cell as a whole.

A Phage Injecting its DNA in to host

After penetration one of the following cycles take place:

(1) Lytic cycle.

(2) Lysogenic cycle.


(1) Lytic Cycle:

During the lytic cycle following steps occur.

(i) Multiplication:

Soon after entering the bacterium, the viral DNA takes the control of the biosynthetic machinery of the host.

The host is forced to synthesize viral DNA and proteins. As a result, viruses begin to multiply.

Within 25 minutes about 200 new Bacteriophages are formed.


(ii) Lysis

After the formation of bacteriophages, the bacterial cell bursts (lysis occurs).

Newly formed bacteriophages are released to infect other bacteria. A new lytic cycle may start.

The phage that causes the lysis of the host cell is called lytic or virulent phage.


(2) Lysogenic Cycle:

In some cases instead of the lytic cycle, the lysogenic cycle takes place. It occurs as follows:

(i) Formation of Prophage:

The viral DNA does not take over the control of the host's machinery.

The DNA is incorporated into the bacterial chromosome. Phage at this stage is called prophage and this process is known as lysogeny.

The phage which causes lysogeny is called temperate (lysogenic) phage. 

Lysogenic bacteria are resistant to infection by the same or related phages.


(ii) Replication:

During lysogeny, the bacterium lives and reproduces normally.

Viral DNA is the part of a bacterial chromosome and passes to each daughter cell generation after generation.

(iii) Induction:

Some times the viral DNA detaches from the chromosomes of the host and the lytic cycle starts. This process is called induction is spontaneous or environmentally induced excision of the prophage from the bacterial chromosome. 

Structure and Life Cycle of Bacteriophage Structure and Life Cycle of Bacteriophage Reviewed by SaQLaiN HaShMi on 9:36 AM Rating: 5

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