A phage (ϕ63) for generalized transduction in was isolated from a soil sample. The diameter of the head was 95 nm and the tail length was 200 nm. The growth cycle required 75 min and the burst size was 330. Phage ϕ63 was stabilized by Ca ions and phage stocks could be stored cold without loss of titre. The frequency of transduction of Leu into an auxotrophic strain was 2 x 10. The frequency of transduction of genes for resistance to nalidixic acid, rifampicin, streptomycin and spectinomycin was generally an order of magnitude lower. Phage ϕ63 could cotransduce these four genes for antibiotic resistance. Crosses were performed which established the gene order as . Heterologous cotransduction of and at reasonable frequencies was obtained in three of six subspecies.


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