The effect of multiplicity of infection (m.o.i.) on transcription was studied by infecting with bacteriophage λI47, λI47293 and λI857273. DNA-RNA hybridization with γI47 -strand DNA, φ80λ -strand DNA, and λ80 -strand DNA were used to measure mRNA transcription from the -strand, the -strand of the early region and the late -b2 region of λ bacteriophage respectively. In λI47 -infected cells, transcription from the -strand, -strand of the early region and the late -b2 region all decreased with increasing m.o.i. The response in the region was less marked than in other regions, but the pattern looked similar to that described above. When phage DNA replication was permitted, as in the case of λI47, the response was similar to that observed in λI47 -infected cells, but the level of transcription was increased two- or three-fold. In λI857 -infected cells, the leftward transcription and the rightward transcription from the early region and the late -b2 region all increased with increasing m.o.i., but the extent of change was less drastic than with λ . This result demonstrated clearly that the decreased in transcription from various regions at increasing m.o.i. of λ was due to the inhibitory action of the gene product. The results obtained with strongly support the view that gene dosage is a significant controlling factor for the extent of gene expression.


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