Spillover: Zika, Ebola & Beyond

Click and drag or use the buttons below to move the model.

The proteins that make up the icosahedral-shaped capsid and tail structure are shown.

T7 Cross Section

A. Capsid proteins; B. DNA genome; C. Core proteins; D. Portal protein; E. Tail fiber; F. Tail proteins; G. Tail; H. Head

T7 virus

  • Podoviridae family
  • Naked icosahedral particles with an attached tail structure
  • Linear, ds DNA genome of ~40,000 bp
  • Infects bacteria, specifically Escherichia coli

Show Relative Size

The T7 viruses are bacteriophages, which infect bacteria. T7 viruses are used extensively in modern molecular biology research by manipulating their genomes and proteins. Visually, most bacteriophages are easily distinguished from other types of viruses by their unique head-and-tail structure.


Relative Sizes

Chart showing size comparison of different viruses.

The white line represents 100 nanometers (nm). For comparison, the width of a human hair is about 75,000 nm, so it would be 750 times as long!