Mutations in the right operator of bacteriophage lambda: Physiological effects

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The right operator in bacteriophage lambda vs326 has one-twentieth the in vitro binding affinity for repressor as λv+; for comparison λv3 has one-quarter the affinity of λv+. In vivo, both mutants constitutively express genes in the right operon. Both λv3 and λvs326 express gene O constitutively because they complement λimm434 Oam- in a λ lysogen, vs, more efficiently than v3. The v3 allele in cis (but not in trans) to vs326 gives significantly greater phage yields in a λ lysogen than λvs326 alone, cro gene function, measured by arrest of exonuclease synthesis, suggested the following series of increasing degree of conatitutivity: v3, vs326, v3 vs326. λv2 vs326 forms plaques on lysogens that carry λcI857, but λv2 v3 does not. These results indicate that vs326, like v3, is an operator constitutive mutation but stronger in its effects. These mutants exemplify a uniform correlation between relative weakness of repressor binding and degree of constitutive gene expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)723-729
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 5 1973
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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