A strain of used for the production of a lactic acid beverage is susceptible to phage infections. Calcium ions were required for the formation of PL- phage-infected bacteria (Watanabe & Takesue, 1972). Further studies on the role of calcium ions in phage infection required the use of protoplasts or sphaeroplasts of the host bacteria. Early trials using egg-white lysozyme, EDTA or glycine to form sphaeroplasts were unsuccessful. However, a simple procedure to produce sphaeroplasts using a low concentration of benzylpenicillin has been successfully developed and is described here together with information on some factors affecting the stability of the sphaeroplasts.


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  1. Watanabe K., Takesue S. 1972; The requirement for calcium in infection with Lactobacillus phage. Journal of General Virology 17:19–30
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