Non-enveloped, head-tail structure. Heads are about 60 nm in diameter and tails 135 × 18 nm. The tail is contractile, has 6 long terminal fibers, 6 short spikes and a small base plate. The capsid has an elongated icosahedral symmetry T=7, composed of 72 capsomers (60 hexamers and 12 pentamers). Upon contraction, the tail sheath becomes loose and slides along the tail core.
Linear, dsDNA genome of about 33 kb, encoding for about 45 proteins.
Genes are transcribed by operons.
- Adsorption: the phage attaches to the target cell through its tail fibers.
- Ejection of the viral DNA into host cell cytoplasm by contraction of the tail sheath.
- Transcription and translation of early genes.
- Synthesis of linear concatemers copies of viral DNA by rolling circle. Transcription and translation of late genes.
- Assembly of an empty procapsid and packaging of the genome.
- Viral tail fibers assembly and viral tail assembly.
- Mature virions are released from the cell by lysis.