Morphopoiesis of the head of phage T4

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Giant T4 bactériophage were found by Doerman et al (1973) with point mutants in gene 23. We now find T4 giant phage with 14 out of 15 tested température-sensitive mutants in gene 24 grown at intermediate températures between 33° and 37° C.

For one of these mutants, T4.24(tsB86), we found a head length distribution that peaks sharply between 10 and 12 normal T4 head lengths.

Mixed infections with T4 wild type and T4.24 (amN65) also yield giant phage. These results suggest that the formation of giant phages may be caused by a dosage effect of P24.

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