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Intermediates in bacteriophage Mu lysogenization of Escherichia coli him hosts.

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  • Research Article
  • Biology


Characterization of a putative intermediate in the Mu lysogenization pathway is possible in a variant Escherichia coli himD strain which exhibits greatly diminished lysogen formation. In this strain, most infecting Mu genomes form stable, transcribable, nonreplicating structures. Many of these genomes can be mobilized to form lysogens by a second Mu infection, which can be delayed by at least 100 min. This intermediate structure can be formed in the absence of Mu A or B function. We suggest that the inferred intermediate could be the previously reported protein-linked circular form of the Mu genome. Providing Mu B function from a plasmid enhances Mu lysogenization in this him strain, and the enhancement is much greater when both Mu A and B functions are provided.

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