Functional analysis of the phage T4 holin in a λ context

E. Ramanculov, R. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Phage λ hybrids were constructed by inserting the t gene of phage T4 in place of the λ holin gene, S. Induction of the hybrid phage resulted in lysis that was just as abrupt as, but occurred much earlier in the vegetative cycle than, that obtained with λ, indicating that t is indeed a holin gene. Moreover, it was possible to impose lysis inhibition (LIN) on induction of the hybrid phage, but not of the parental λ phage, by superinfection with LIN-competent T4. The imposition of the LIN state was found to depend on the allelic state of the rI and t genes of the superinfecting T4 phage, indicating that the LIN-sensitive state of the T holin is transient. Finally, induction of lysogens carrying both holin genes was shown to result in earlier triggering of lysis than with either holin gene alone. This result suggests that the two very dissimilar holins contribute additively to the physiology of the timing mechanism, or, less likely, that they interact to form one mass-action pool. In either case, these results imply a common pathway for holin timing and function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-353
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and General Genetics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Bacteriophage T4
  • Bacteriophage lambda
  • Holin
  • Lysis inhibition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics

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