Defective lysis of streptomycin-resistant Escherichia coli cells infected with bacteriophage f2

J. De Mars Cody, T. W. Conway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


A lysis defect was found to account for the failure of a streptomycin-resistant strain of Escherichia coli to form plaques when infected with the male-specific bacteriophage f2. The lysis defect was associated with the mutation to streptomycin resistance. Large amounts of apparently normal bacteriophage accumulated in these cells. Cell-free extracts from both the parental and mutant strains synthesized a potential lysis protein in considerable amounts in response to formaldehyde-treated f2 RNA but not in response to untreated RNA. As predicted from the nucleotide sequence of the analogous MS2 phage, the protein synthesized in vitro had the expected molecular weight and lacked glycine. The cistron for the lysis protein overlapped portions of the coat and replicase cistrons and was translated in the +1 reading frame. Initiation at the lysis protein cistron may be favored by translation errors that expose the normally masked initiation site, and streptomycin-resistant ribosomes, known to have more faithful translation properties, may be unable to efficiently synthesize the lysis protein.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)813-820
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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