Phi X174 E complements lambda S and R dysfunction for host cell lysis.
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Hybrid lambda phages which have the E lysis gene of the bacteriophage phi X174 in cis to defective nonsense and deletion alleles of the normal lambda lysis genes S and R have been constructed and shown to be fully competent for plaque-forming ability, which demonstrates that the single-gene, lysozyme-independent lysis system of phi X174 and related phages can serve the lytic function for large complex phages. These hybrid phages are unable to form plaques on a slyD host. Moreover, plaque morphology indicates that in E-mediated lysis the soluble lambda R endolysin can participate in lysis, indicating that the protein E-mediated lesions are not completely sealed off from the periplasm.
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