SUMMARY: When growing cells of were treated with chloramphenicol or erythromycin for 1 hr. and then suspended in antibiotic-free medium, there was a 45 min. lag before growth resumed. By eliminating growth factors or other essential nutrients during antibiotic treatment, it was possible to show that the lag occurred only when ribonucleic acid (RNA) synthesis could take place and did not require the synthesis of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). This antibiotic-induced RNA was apparently abnormal and was degraded when the antibiotic was removed. This degradation is a hydrolytic process and does not require the presence of a complete growth medium. During the recovery from the antibiotic-induced lag, DNA and protein synthesis did not occur, but RNA synthesis occurred, even though this new RNA synthesis was not required for the lag to be overcome. When antibiotic-treated cells were suspended in phosphate buffer, a decrease in optical density of the suspension occurred which resembled a lytic process, but lysis apparently did not occur. Although these results clarify considerably earlier observations on antibiotic-induced lag, they leave unsolved the question of why the antibiotic-induced RNA is abnormal, and how it brings about the lag.


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