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Letter from Joshua Lederberg to Salvador E. Luria

Authors
Publication Date
Keywords
  • Bacteriophages
  • Mutation
Disciplines
  • Chemistry
  • Medicine

Abstract

JOY 30, 1946. DearDr.Luria- I have spent the past t*-o wec.ks on a wild goose chase: finally managing to secure two buble biochemical mutants in B/r (Y38-Y43 [email protected];glethianine and Y39-Y44 histidins;p-rutlinobenzoic ac,) Several experiments at attempting to get prototrophs from their interaction, and from B/r and K-12 mutants, have been entirely negative. I do not think,thezefore,that you will. have any particular use for them. This is a fortunate occurrence,because it connects very beautifully with the observation that you stated in your last letter that your recent experiments indicate no ZWCOElbin:ltiOnS of virus resistance in B. It is clear then,1 think, that we shall have to continue to work with K-12 strains. hunch of mine the same with thallium. ' If you have other strains of 5. coli (preferably motile-just a ) which are susceptible to this series of viruses I might try them. I am looking very hard for a possible instance of 'hetero- Tha& you very much for the inforsntion on the phage susceptibility pattern of K-12. It does look kh like there may be a lot of rraterial here. I would swgest that it would be important for you to ascertain whether complex rsoistance mu&&s occur in X-12; if so there is the chance of analysing them. I have gotteol what I think are some recombinations of biochemical requirements and virus roL.istznce (aside from resistant and suac%.ptible prototrophsi but I'll have to look into that more carefully. Also, from the r&ioe of resistant and susce.pbible pxototrophs in various *crossest there seems be be some sort of linkage (about 5e %j between res&stance to T-l and either proline- or threonineless. Since this will com&icate con- siderably any use of bicchemical factors as selectors, more work will have to be done with a vraiety of these mutants to find sets that till allow a more random distribution of resistance in the prototrophs. I feel compertent to work w

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