A major feature in the classical conception of the morphology of the T-even type coliphage is the shape of the head, believed to be a bipyramidal hexagonal prism. The present paper shows that this shape is not consistent with the appearance in electron micrographs, and an alternative model is proposed. The fine structure of the head is compared with that of polymerized head protein (polyhead) obtained from naturally-occurring lethal mutants. Certain hexagonal and star-shaped objects have been described in the literature as base-plates. Because of inconsistencies in their appearance, they have now been measured and studied. The results given here indicate that the star-shaped objects are disorganized base-plates and the hexagonal objects are collars. By using the rotation method for printing micrographs of collars it is found that they have a hollow subunit at each corner.


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