An RNA virus that infects E. coli. Its genome consists of a circular, positive sense single-stranded RNA molecule. This strand acts both as a template for the replication of a complementary strand and as an mRNA molecule that directs the translation of viral proteins. Q beta phage is one of the smallest known viruses, measuring 24 nm in diameter. Its icosahedral capsid is composed of 180 copies of a single coat protein. See Chronology,1965, 1967, Spiegelman et al.; 1973, Mills et al.; 1983, Miele et al.; Genome Sizes and Gene Numbers; androphages, bacteriophage, in vitro evolution, Q beta replicase, virus.
Subjects: Genetics and Genomics.