Tail Structure and Dynamics

Shweta Bhatt, Petr G. Leiman, Nicholas M.I. Taylor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Most viruses of bacteria, or bacteriophages, use a tail structure for the controlled injection of their genome and internal proteins into the bacterial host. The tail, together with proteins located in the capsid of the phage, translocates DNA and proteins from the capsid into the cytoplasm of the host cell while crossing the wall and cell membrane in gram-positive bacteria or two cell membranes and the peptidoglycan layer in gram-negative bacteria. Yet another function of the tail is to coordinate host recognition, which is performed by tail fiber and tailspike proteins emanating from the tail, with irreversible attachment to the host’s surface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Virology
Subtitle of host publicationVolume 1-5, Fourth Edition
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780128145166
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • Bacterial virus
  • Bacteriophage
  • Caudovirales
  • Contractile injection system
  • Myoviridae
  • Podoviridae
  • Siphoviridae
  • Symmetry
  • T4
  • T7
  • φ29

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Immunology and Microbiology


Dive into the research topics of 'Tail Structure and Dynamics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this