Function of Pili in Bacteriophage Phi 6 Penetration

J Gen Virol. 1985 Nov;66 ( Pt 11):2461-9. doi: 10.1099/0022-1317-66-11-2461.


The genome of bacteriophage phi 6, which has a lipid protein envelope, consists of three pieces of dsRNA. Virus infection is initiated by attachment to a phi 6-specific host pilus followed by fusion of the phage membrane and the bacterial outer membrane. In this study we analysed several different phi 6 hosts as well as more than 200 independently isolated phi 6-resistant variants derived from Pseudomonas syringae pv. phaseolicola. It is shown that phi 6-specific pili are coded by genes located in the host chromosome. It appears that pilus reaction is needed to pull the pilus-associated virus through the extracellular polysaccharide of the host and thus to bring it into contact with the outer membrane where membrane fusion can take place.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adsorption
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / analysis
  • Bacteriophages / physiology*
  • Cell Membrane / microbiology
  • Fimbriae, Bacterial / microbiology*
  • Fimbriae, Bacterial / physiology
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Plasmids
  • Pseudomonas / analysis
  • Pseudomonas / genetics
  • Pseudomonas / physiology*
  • Pseudomonas / ultrastructure
  • Receptors, Virus / physiology*


  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins
  • Receptors, Virus