SUMMARY: Phage F is an RNA-containing phage which plates only on strains carrying the plasmid EDP208, a pilus derepressed derivative of the unique incompatibility plasmid F A host range mutant, phage F , was selected which plated on strains carrying the ungrouped plasmid pPLS:: Tn5 and lysed strains carrying another ungrouped plasmid TP224::Tn10 or the Com9 plasmid R71. An RNA-containing phage, SR, was isolated from sewage on bacteria harbouring plasmid pPLS::Tn5. It was antigenically distinct from the above two phages but had the same host range as phage F Phages F and SR adsorbed unevenly to the shafts of the conjugative pili. Another phage, SF, was filamentous and plated or propagated on strains carrying any of the above plasmids as well as on strains harbouring IncD or F-complex plasmids. Plasmids TP224::Tn10 and pPLS::Tn5 were compatible with representative plasmids of all Inc groups also encoding thick flexible pili. The four plasmids EDP208, R71, TP224::Tn10 and pPLS::Tn5 were compatible with one another except for the reaction of TP224::Tn10 in the presence of pPLS::Tn5 which was slightly ambiguous. The host ranges of the bacteriophages, together with the serological relatedness of the thick flexible pili determined by these four compatible plasmids, suggested that they constitute a new complex, here designated S.


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