Coliphage φW and its female-specific host range mutants φ3 and φ4 were grown on B and strain D31, an LPS mutant of K12. Comparison of phage samples from centre and halo of single plaques indicates that host-range mutants of φ3 type are enriched in halos on strain D31. For φW there was a decreased adsorption to full-grown cells, for φ3 there was only a minor change. Caesium chloride gradients have shown that φ3 is denser than φW and φ4. After growth on strain D31 both φW and φ3 produced non-infectious tail-less particles, and burst sizes were reduced correspondingly. It is suggested that the assembly of the tail could be blocked by an assumed LPS precursor.


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