The genome of bacteriophage ø6, which has a lipid protein envelope, consists of three pieces of dsRNA. Virus infection is initiated by attachment to a ø6-specific host pilus followed by fusion of the phage membrane and the bacterial outer membrane. In this study we analysed several different ø6 hosts as well as more than 200 independently isolated ø6-resistant variants derived from pv. . It is shown that ø6-specific pili are coded by genes located in the host chromosome. It appears that pilus retraction is needed to pull the pilus-associated virus through the extracellular polysaccharide of the host and thus to bring it into contact with the outer membrane where membrane fusion can take place.

Keyword(s): adsorption , penetration , phage ø6 and pilus

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