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Ramanculov, E and Young, R (2001) Functional analysis of the phage T4 holin in a lambda context. Mol. Genet. Genomics 265:345-53


Phage lambda hybrids were constructed by inserting the t gene of phage T4 in place of the lambda holin gene, S. Induction of the hybrid phage resulted in lysis that was just as abrupt as, but occurred much earlier in the vegetative cycle than, that obtained with lambda, indicating that t is indeed a holin gene. Moreover, it was possible to impose lysis inhibition (LIN) on induction of the hybrid phage, but not of the parental lambda phage, by superinfection with LIN-competent T4. The imposition of the LIN state was found to depend on the allelic state of the rI and t genes of the superinfecting T4 phage, indicating that the LIN-sensitive state of the T holin is transient. Finally, induction of lysogens carrying both holin genes was shown to result in earlier triggering of lysis than with either holin gene alone. This result suggests that the two very dissimilar holins contribute additively to the physiology of the timing mechanism, or, less likely, that they interact to form one mass-action pool. In either case, these results imply a common pathway for holin timing and function.


PubMed Full Text


Amino Acid Sequence; Bacteriophage T4/genetics; Bacteriophage lambda/genetics; Molecular Sequence Data; Viral Proteins/genetics; Viral Proteins/physiology