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J Bacteriol. 1968 Feb;95(2):314-26.

Inhibition of bacterial conjugation by ribonucleic acid and deoxyribonucleic acid male-specific bacteriophages.


Both deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA) male-specific phages, with an F-specific host range, inhibited the bacterial mating process of Escherichia coli. DNA phages prevented the formation of mating pairs but had no effect on mating pairs once they were formed. A step in RNA phage infection, prior to RNA penetration, prevented the formation of mating pairs and, in addition, prevented a fraction of existing mating pairs from completing the mating process. These findings are compatible with the hypothesis that donor cells have a single surface structure involved in both conjugation and male-phage adsorption and that this element is the F pilus.

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