Icosahedral Phages - Single-Stranded DNA (φX174)

Bentley A. Fane, Aaron P. Roznowski

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The Microviridae consist of T = 1 single-stranded (+) DNA prokaryotic viruses. Due to genetic and biochemical tractability, φX174, the most widely known family member, was used to elucidate the mechanism of DNA replication and was the first completely sequenced genome. It is also a model system for structure and morphogenesis. The φX174 procapsid was the first viral assembly intermediate solved at atomic resolution, which made it a model system for protein structure and viral morphogenesis. Unlike double-stranded DNA bacteriophages, microviruses have no visible tails. However, a tail-like structure, or H-tube, emerges from the capsid upon infection, and currently serves as a paradigm for virally encoded DNA translocation conduits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Virology
Subtitle of host publicationVolume 1-5, Fourth Edition
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780128145166
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • Bacteriophage φX174
  • Coliphage
  • DNA packaging
  • DNA replication
  • DNA translocation
  • H-tube
  • Microviridae
  • Overlapping reading frames
  • Penetration
  • Procapsid
  • Scaffolding protein
  • Single-stranded DNA
  • Viral morphogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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