The “Rapunzel” Virus: An Evolutionary Oddity; Extremely Long Tail Provides Window into How Bacteriophage Assemble

Bacteriophage P74-26 structure illustration (Credit
Leonora Martinez-Nunez).
A recent study published on February 13, 2023 in the Journal of Biological Chemistry has revealed the secret behind an evolutionary marvel: a bacteriophage with an extremely long tail. This extraordinary tail is part of a bacteriophage that lives in inhospitable hot springs and preys on some of the toughest bacteria on the planet. Bacteriophages are a group of viruses that infect and replicate in bacteria and are the most common and diverse things on Earth. “Bacteriophages, or phages for short, are everywhere that bacteria are, including the dirt and water around you and in your own body’s microbial ecosystem as well,” said Emily Agnello, a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School and the lead author on the study. The JBC article is titled “Conformational Dynamics Control Assembly of an Extremely Long Bacteriophage Tail Tube.”
Login Or Register To Read Full Story