SUMMARY: Earlier studies have suggested the possible role of host autolytic enzyme in the release of progeny phage from Dp-1 infected pneumococci. Several new experiments described here reinforce this notion. Specifically, the resistance of an autolysis-defective mutant to infection at low phage to cell ratios could be eliminated by prior ‘coating’ of the host bacteria with pneumococcal autolysin isolated from wild-type cells. Similar, productive infection was also possible by lowering the temperature of incubation to 30°C, a condition that leads to a partial activation of the thermosensitive residual autolysin in the mutant cells. Other experiments, however, clearly indicate the role of the newly discovered phage-associated lysin (PAL), reported in the accompanying communication, in bacteriophage release and culture lysis; specifically, lysis was stimulated by reducing agents and inhibited by cardiolipin. It seems that both the host-related and the PAL activities are involved with Dp-1 induced lysis of pneumococci.


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