Teichoic acids form part of the bacteriophage receptor sites in the walls of several Gram-positive bacteria (Young, 1967; Coyette & Ghuysen, 1968; Chatterjee, 1969). Concanavalin A interacts with teichoic acids that possess α-linked glucosyl or -acetyl-glucosaminyl substituents (Archibald & Coapes, 1971; Reeder & Ekstedt, 1971) and so might be expected to prevent access of bacteriophages to their receptor sites in walls which contain such teichoic acids. We have examined the influence of Concanavalin A on the binding of bacteriophage K (Ralston, Baer, Lieberman & Kreuger, 1957) to strains 3528, A1 and H, the walls of which contain exclusively α, exclusively β- and predominantly β-, with some α-, -acetyl-glucosaminyl substituents respectively (Baddiley, Buchanan, Martin & RajBhandary, 1962; Nathenson & Strominger, 1962; Davison, Baddiley, Hofstad, Losnegard & Oeding, 1964). The action of Concanavalin A on the binding of bacteriophage SP-50 (Foldes & Trautner, 1964) to strains 3610 and w-23, the wall teichoic acids of which contain respectively α- and β-linked glucosyl substituents (Chin, Burger & Glaser, 1966; Doyle & Birdsell, 1972) has also been studied. Additionally we have studied the effect of Concanavalin A on the infection of strains W-23 and 3610 by bacteriophage SP-50 and of strains 3528 and H by the typing bacteriophages 53 and 52A respectively.


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