Phage α3 had a buoyant density of 1#x00B7;506 g/ml, suggesting a protein capsid. The mol. wt. of the phage genome was 34 ± 1 × 10. A dual genome population was observed and partial denaturation, duplex and restriction analyses facilitated distinction between constituent phages, α3τ and α3ω. Phage α3τ exhibited a 0.7 ± 0#x00B7;2 × 10 mol. wt. deletion in its genome with respect to α3ω. Both phages were encapsulated by a headful mechanism and the genomes were permuted over 27% and <18% of their length respectively. It is concluded that stable variants may be isolated and that these phages offer potential, through physical studies, to elucidate the properties of the -α3 system.


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