SUMMARY: The (previously ) mutation in K12 inhibits infection by filamentous bacteriophages f1 and IKe but not by RNA-containing phage f2. This work extends these observations to other plasmid-specific bacteriophages including various filamentous, RNA-containing, and lipid-containing isolates. Only tip-adsorbing filamentous phages were affected by and not shaft-adsorbing ones. Electron microscopy showed that RP4-specific filamentous phage Pf3 was one of the latter kind. Several tip-adsorbing filamentous phages inhibited conjugation between strains carrying their specific plasmids, implicating the phage receptors (conjugative pili) as mating organelles. mutant strains were as proficient as their parents in conjugation mediated by a wide range of plasmids.


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