SUMMARY: Caulobacter bacteriophages containing ribonucleic acid have been found to attach to pili of their hosts. Only when the phage is actually lytic for a given host can the phage+pilus complexes be observed; non-specific complexes are not formed. Removal of the pili from the host by shear treatment before phage adsorption resulted in effective inhibition of phage adsorption. While swarmer caulobacters frequently possessed pili which were located at the flagellated pole of the organism, stalked caulobacters were almost always devoid of these structures. Adsorption experiments with segregated populations of caulobacters indicated that stalked caulobacters adsorbed RNA phages very poorly, while in swarmer populations and unsegregated cultures the RNA phages were efficiently adsorbed.


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