Bacteriophage

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A bacteriophage is a virus that infects bacteria. The term is commonly shortened to phage.

Bacteriophages are similar to viruses that infect eukaryotes (plants, animals, and fungi) in that there are many different kinds of structures and functions. Bacteriophages are typically made of an outer protein hull that has genetic material inside it. The genetic material can be ssRNA, dsRNA, ssDNA, or double-stranded DNA between 5 and 500 kilo base pairs long with either circular or linear arrangement. Bacteriophages are usually between 20 and 200 nanometers in size.