Rapunzel bacteriophage: Know how it thrives…

A bacteriophage known as "Rapunzel" contributes to the ecosystem.

Microorganisms live in their own world. Thus, anywhere that bacteria live, viruses called bacteriophages can be discovered. These bacteria are among the most numerous and varied species of organisms on earth, and they have a major impact on bacterial population control in a variety of habitats. 

However, the P74-26 bacteriophage distinguishes itself among them owing to its distinct structure and characteristics. 

According to a recent study, this bacteriophage Rapunzel has a very long tail.

The tail structure is almost one micrometer long and resembles some spider silk in terms of breadth. Its tail structure is necessary for host attachment and identification, which are important for productive infections.

Thus, the P74-26 bacteriophage is the most stable phage and has a very long tail, which enables it to dwell in and infect bacteria that are found in hot springs. However, given that the majority of phages are unable to survive in these surroundings’ hard circumstances and high temperatures, this makes it distinct from other phages.

Nonetheless, the P74-26 bacteriophage’s structure was investigated by scientists using high-power imaging methods and computer simulations. 

The P74-26 bacteriophage tail may be compared to Lego bricks in terms of its component parts. These building blocks have the ability to change shape or conformation when they are put together, and this behavior is essential for the building blocks to fit together properly. The reason P74-26 needs half as many building blocks to construct the stacking rings that make up the tail is that the researchers believe that an ancient virus merged its building pieces into one protein. The P74-26 bacteriophage is even more intriguing to researchers because of its distinctive properties.

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