The clear-plaque mutants, phage λ (large plaque, virulent inducer mutant) and λ (large clear plaque), both types isolated from the same wild-type phage λ, were neutralized by antiserum to phage λ at a much slower rate than λ. For the anti-wild-type serum the neutralization constant () was 111 min. for phage λ, whereas for phage λ it was only 27 min.. On the other hand, antiserum to phage λ neutralized all three phages at similar rates ( = 84, 76 and 70 min. for λ, λ and λ respectively). When anti-wild-type serum ( = 96 min. for λ) was tested against 50 independent λ-type mutants, it gave a mean value of 28 min. with 42 of the isolates. Three of the isolates, with mean value (93 min.) equivalent to that for λ, produced plaques of unusual morphology in certain conditions. With the other five λ isolates, the serum showed a mean value of 53 min.. The same anti-wild-type serum neutralized phage λ (large turbid plaques) at approximately the same rate ( = 34 min.) as the majority of the λ isolates, whereas for λ (minute turbid plaque) the rate was greater ( = 123 min.) than for λ and was intermediate ( = 44 min.) for λ (medium cocarde plaque). These results indicate that the composition or structure of tail components can vary in different phage λ mutants, and this feature of the phage particle is not directly associated with loss of ability to lysogenize the host bacterium, .


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