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Genetic control of capsid length in bacteriophage T4: phenotypes displayed by ptg mutants.

By A H Doermann and A Pao


The phenotypic characteristics of 26 ptg mutations in T4 gene 23 are described. All were located in three tight clusters in that gene and, by definition of ptg mutations, all produced giant phage. Intermediate petite phage, which invariably made up a substantial fraction of the progeny of these mutants, appeared to be a unique product of gene 23 mutations. Isometric petite phage were produced in significant numbers by strains with mutations at only 4 of the 10 sites identified with the PTG phenotype. The data presented indicate that there was little if any variation in the lengths of the normal, the intermediate petite, and the isometric petite classes. The frequencies of those capsid types were fairly specific for the individual mutations. The giant capsids that resulted from ptg mutations also had characteristic length distributions, of which three types were distinguished. These highly specific effects of gene 23 ptg mutations on capsid length regulation of T4 imply that the product of gene 23, gp23, plays a significant role in controlling the length of its capsid. The restrictions these observations place on a model for T4 capsid length regulation are discussed briefly

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1987
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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