Actinophage active against both neutrophilic and acidophilic streptomycetes were isolated from a variety of soils by a specific enrichment method. No phage were detected in soils with a pH below 6.0, despite the presence of acidophilic streptomycetes in these soils. However, some phage isolated from neutral soils were able to lyse acidophilic streptomycetes at pH 5.5. Selected actinophage were shown to be stable between pH 5.5 and 9.0 in sterile soils and broth, but were rapidly inactivated at lower or higher pH values. Survival of these phage was good in neutral soils, but negligible in acidic soils. This suggested that free phage were unable to remain infective in acidic soils, thus at least partially accounting for the failure to isolate them. Acidity was shown to have variable effects on several stages of phage replication including adsorption, penetration and the length of the latent period. The latter effect was directly related to the metabolic activity of the host.


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