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Article

Altered Growth and Envelope Properties of Polylysogens Containing Bacteriophage Lambda NcI Prophages

Department of Biochemistry, Bose Institute, Kolkata-700009, India
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: 3780 Pelham Drive, Mobile, AL 36619, USA.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(5), 1667; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21051667
Received: 27 January 2020 / Revised: 23 February 2020 / Accepted: 26 February 2020 / Published: 28 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bacteriophage—Molecular Studies)
The bacterial virus lambda (λ) is a temperate bacteriophage that can lysogenize host Escherichia coli (E. coli) cells. Lysogeny requires λ repressor, the cI gene product, which shuts off transcription of the phage genome. The λ N protein, in contrast, is a transcriptional antiterminator, required for expression of the terminator-distal genes, and thus, λ N mutants are growth-defective. When E. coli is infected with a λ double mutant that is defective in both N and cI (i.e., λN-cI-), at high multiplicities of 50 or more, it forms polylysogens that contain 20–30 copies of the λN-cI- genome integrated in the E. coli chromosome. Early studies revealed that the polylysogens underwent “conversion” to long filamentous cells that form tiny colonies on agar. Here, we report a large set of altered biochemical properties associated with this conversion, documenting an overall degeneration of the bacterial envelope. These properties reverted back to those of nonlysogenic E. coli as the metastable polylysogen spontaneously lost the λN-cI- genomes, suggesting that conversion is a direct result of the multiple copies of the prophage. Preliminary attempts to identify lambda genes that may be responsible for conversion ruled out several candidates, implicating a potentially novel lambda function that awaits further studies. View Full-Text
Keywords: bacteriophage lambda; polylysogen; membrane; Gram-negative; lipopolysaccharide; lysogenic conversion bacteriophage lambda; polylysogen; membrane; Gram-negative; lipopolysaccharide; lysogenic conversion
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MDPI and ACS Style

Barik, S.; Mandal, N.C. Altered Growth and Envelope Properties of Polylysogens Containing Bacteriophage Lambda NcI Prophages. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 1667. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21051667

AMA Style

Barik S, Mandal NC. Altered Growth and Envelope Properties of Polylysogens Containing Bacteriophage Lambda NcI Prophages. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2020; 21(5):1667. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21051667

Chicago/Turabian Style

Barik, Sailen, and Nitai C. Mandal. 2020. "Altered Growth and Envelope Properties of Polylysogens Containing Bacteriophage Lambda NcI Prophages" International Journal of Molecular Sciences 21, no. 5: 1667. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21051667

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