Video: Oh Goodness, My E. coli has a Virus

 

 

 

 

Viruses and Bacteria

It's easy to mix these up since compared to us, both are VERY SMALL. But bacteria, given the proper nutrients, can grow and reproduce on their own. Viruses cannot "live" or reproduce without getting inside some living cell, whether it's a plant, animal, or bacteria. And compared to viruses, bacteria are huge (see HowBig).

 

Phage with BacteriaPhage Attachment

 

The Virus that Infects Bacteria

Coliphage T4 is a virus that looks like an alien landing pod. With its six legs, the bacteriophage attaches to the surface of the much larger bacteria Escherichia coli (E. coli). Once attached, the bacteriophage injects DNA into the bacterium. The DNA instructs the bacterium to produce masses of new viruses. So many are produced, that the E. coli bursts.

 

 

DNA Injected