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J Ultrastruct Mol Struct Res. 1988 Jun;99(3):189-202.

Head structure of bacteriophages T2 and T4.

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M. E. Müller-Institute for High Resolution Electron Microscopy at the Biocenter, University of Basel, Switzerland.


The length-to-width ratios of bacteriophage T2 and T4 heads and stereometric angles specifying the prolate icosahedral T2 capsid were evaluated on electron micrographs recorded from samples prepared by a variety of methods. The copy numbers of the major capsid protein, gp23*, of T2 and T4 phages were compared by quantitative gel electrophoresis. Taken together, the resulting values are most compatible with triangulation numbers T = 13 and Q = 21 for both T2 and T4, thus confirming the previously proposed capsid architecture of T4 revealed by indirect measurements and thereby eliminating the repeatedly reported discrepancy between T2 and T4 in favor of a common Q number of 21 corresponding to 960 copies of gp23*.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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