Stability and in vitro DNA packaging of bacteriophages: Effects of dextrans, sugars, and polyols

P. Serwer, W. E. Masker, J. L. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations


Attempts were made to increase the efficiency of infectious particle formation during the in vitro assembly of bacteriophage T7 from procapsids and DNA. It was found that dextrans and some smaller, related compounds (sucrose and sorbitol) increase this efficiency by a factor of 8 to 50. Dextrans also inhibited elevated temperature-induced emptying of DNA from bacteriophages T7, P22, and T4, suggesting that the stimulation of assembly is caused, at least in part, by the stabilization of packaged DNA in capsids. The data indicated that the sugars and polyols can slow DNA emptying from bacteriophages at elevated temperature whether they permeate the bacteriophage capsid or not. In contrast, the data suggested that permeation of some particle, probably a capsid, results in inhibition of in vitro T7 assembly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)665-671
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1983


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology

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