SUMMARY: Staphylococcal bacteriophage K was concentrated and purified from broth lysates without the use of high-speed centrifugation, which inactivates this phage. After precipitation with 30 % (v/v) acetone in water in the cold, the phage was further purified by treatment with butanol and chloroform, and concentrated by pressure filtration in reinforced collodion sacs. Electron microscopical examination revealed the presence of empty phage heads and tails, in addition to intact phage in the purified concentrate. Experiments indicate that while these entities could be made by disintegration of the phage, they were already present in this form in the original lysate. Study of the structure of the phage indicates the presence of a removable solid rod or plug within the tail which terminates in the terminal bob. These findings are discussed in relation to the structure of other phages, and their physiology.


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