SUMMARY: Plasmid formation by derivatives of lambdoid phages has been reinvestigated with transducing phages carrying the and genes of Transduction by λ I derivatives was inefficient and short-lived in each case, under both selective and nonselective conditions. Mutant operators were introduced to relieve possible auto-repression by the gene product. Such -defective phage genomes were able to propagate continually as plasmids, although without selection they were gradually lost from the carrier cells. Plasmid formation remained inefficient, however. The entire chromosome of phages can be expressed by transcription that leaks through the serially arranged Rho-dependent terminators. Some functions so expressed are deleterious to the plasmid state and cause the instability of λ plasmids.


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