SUMMARY: The formation and role of enzyme, virolysin, in K infected with phages P and P are described. Virolysin is a by-product of the metabolism of the cell which is actively producing phage, not of the normal cell. Virolysin is first detected within 10–15 min. in a 40–50 min. latent period and increases linearly untillysis. Normal cell autolysin remains constant during infection. Observations on lysis and phage release show that (1) certain inhibitors which prevent lysis of the cocci by external virolysin also prevent lysis and phage release when added at the end of the latent period; (2) the rate of premature lysis of, and phage release from, cocci chilled during the latent period depends upon their virolysin content. Both observations suggest that virolysin functions in phage release.


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