Influence of internal capsid pressure on viral infection by phage λ

Sarah Köster, Alex Evilevitch, Meerim Jeembaeva, David A. Weitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ejection of the genome from the virus, phage λ, is the initial step in the infection of its host bacterium. In vitro, the ejection depends sensitively on internal pressure within the virus capsid; however, the in vivo effect of internal pressure on infection of bacteria is unknown. Here, we use microfluidics to monitor individual cells and determine the temporal distribution of lysis due to infection as the capsid pressure is varied. The lysis probability decreases markedly with decreased capsid pressure. Of interest, the average lysis times remain the same but the distribution is broadened as the pressure is lowered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1525-1529
Number of pages5
JournalBiophysical journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 16 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics


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