SUMMARY: Several mutants obtained from smooth strains by selection for resistance to Felix O (FO) phage [whose receptor site includes the -acetylglucosamine branch of the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) core] were smooth in cultural properties, antigenic character and phage sensitivity pattern (except for their FO resistance). However, the affected genes of several such ‘FOR’ (FO-resistant) mutants were shown by transduction to map in the short segment, which includes nearly all known genes responsible for synthesis of LPS core. All of seven FOR mutants differed from their parents, and resembled mutants with defects in the deeper part of the LPS core, by increased sensitivity to various antibiotics. One FOR mutant was non-virulent (LD>10, compared with < 100 for its parent); LT7 derivatives given this FOR gene by co-transduction with were likewise non-virulent. It is inferred that FOR mutations affect the assembly of the inner part of the LPS core, perhaps causing incomplete blocks in glycosyl transferase reactions.


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