Mutations in a nonessential viral gene permit bacteriophage T4 to form plaques on Escherichia coli valS ts relA

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Science  11 Jul 1980:
Vol. 209, Issue 4453, pp. 294-295
DOI: 10.1126/science.6992274


During viral development bacteriophage T4 modifies the valyl-transfer RNA synthetase of its host Escherichia coli, but the function of the modification has remained elusive. A strain of Escherichia coli has now been identified which is nonpermissive for wild-type bacteriophage T4, but permissive for bacteriophage mutants impaired in the modification reaction. A comparison with other bacteria suggests that nonpermissiveness is due to synthesis of a thermolabile valyl-transfer RNA synthetase and relaxed control of RNA accumulation.