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Mol Genet Genomics. 2001 Nov;266(3):406-16.

Bacteriophage P2: recombination in the superinfection preprophage state and under replication control by phage P4.

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Jet Propulsion Laboratory 125-224, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA.


Genetic crosses (mixed infection, lytic cycle) with bacteriophage P2 are known to give extremely low recombination frequencies, and these are unaffected by the recA status of the host bacterium. We now show the following: (1) the satellite bacteriophage P4, which interacts with P2 in a number of ways, but is quite different from it in terms of DNA replication and its control, is clearly dependent on the host recA+ function for recombination; (2) a chimeric phage (Lindqvist's P2/P4 Hy19), in which P2 replication early genes have been replaced by those of P4, recombines in a recA+-dependent manner; (3) immunity-sensitive P2 phages, in mixed infections of P2-immune bacteria, and hence blocked in their replication, recombine in a recA+-dependent manner; (4) an analysis of the distribution of exchanges based on a simple model confirms that in mixed infections of sensitive cells (where P2 is actively multiplying) recombinational exchanges tend to be statistically clustered in a segment of the chromosome containing the origin of replication, and also shows that, under conditions in which P2 DNA replication is blocked, the distribution of exchanges correlates well with the physical distances between markers on the P2 DNA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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