Skip to main content
Log in

A molecular analysis of terminase cuts in headful packaging of Salmonella phage P22

  • Published:
Molecular and General Genetics MGG Aims and scope Submit manuscript


Fragments of DNA molecules of Salmonella phage 22 which represent the molecular termini created by the terminase reaction have been cloned and sequenced. The terminase cleavage separates a headful-sized piece of DNA from the concatemeric precursor; by successful cloning strategy it was shown that the terminase produces blunt ends. The termini of 20 different phage DNA molecules fall into a region located between about 600 and 4000 bp from the pac signal and show a Gaussian distribution. The average terminal redundancy was calculated to be about 2230 by (=5.3%) and is therefore higher than was previously reported. A comparison of the nucleotides flanking the terminal bases of 20 different end clones does not support the suggestion that the terminase recognizes some specific sequence and/or structural information in determining the actual cleavage site.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others


  • Backhaus H (1985) DNA packaging initiation of Salmonella bacteriophage P22: Determination of cut sites within the DNA sequence coding for gene 3. J Virol 55:458–465

    Google Scholar 

  • Biggin M, Gibson T, Hong F (1983) Buffer gradient gels and 35S label as an aid to rapid DNA sequence determination. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 80:3963–3965

    Google Scholar 

  • Casjens S, Huang W (1982) Initiation of sequential packaging of bacteriophage P22 DNA. J Mol Biol 157:287–298

    Google Scholar 

  • Casjens S, Huang W, Hayden M, Parr R (1987) Initiation of bacteriophage P22 DNA packaging series. Analysis of a mutant that alters the DNA target specificity of the packaging apparatus. J Mol Biol 194:411–422

    Google Scholar 

  • Casjens S, Hayden M (1988) Analysis in vivo of the bacteriophage P22 headful nuclease. J Mol Biol 199:467–474

    Google Scholar 

  • Feiss M (1986) Terminase and the recognition, cutting and packaging of chromosomes. Trends Genet 2:100–104

    Google Scholar 

  • Jackson EN, Jackson DA, Dean RJ (1978) EcoRI analysis of bacteriophage P22 DNA packaging. J Mol Biol 118:365–388

    Google Scholar 

  • Maniatis T, Fritsch EF, Sambrook J (1982) Molecular cloning: A laboratory manual. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, NY

    Google Scholar 

  • Marck C (1988) “DNA Strider”: a “C” program for the fast analysis of DNA and protein sequences on the Apple Macintosh family of computers. Nucleic Acids Res 16:1829–1836

    Google Scholar 

  • Maxam AM, Gilbert W (1980) Sequencing end-labeled DNA with base-specific chemical cleavages. Methods Enzymol 65:499–560

    Google Scholar 

  • Norrander J, Kempe T, Messing J (1983) Construction of improved M13 vectors using oligodeoxynucleotide-directed mutagenesis. Gene 26:101–106

    Google Scholar 

  • Raj AS, Raj AY, Schmieger H (1974) Phage genes involved in the formation of generalized transducing particles in Salmonella-phage P22. Mol Gen Genet 135:175–184

    Google Scholar 

  • Sanger F, Coulson AR, Barrell BG, Smith AJH, Roe BA (1980) Cloning single-stranded bacteriophage as an aid to rapid DNA sequencing. J Mol Biol 143:161–178

    Google Scholar 

  • Schmieger H (1972) Phage P22 mutants with increased or decreased transduction abilities. Mol Gen Genet 119:75–88

    Google Scholar 

  • Streisinger G, Emrich J, Stahl MM (1967) Chromosome structure in phage T4. III. Terminal redundancy and length determination. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 57:292–295

    Google Scholar 

  • Tye B-K, Huberman JA, Botstein D (1974) Non-random circular permutation of phage P22 DNA. J Mol Biol 85:501–532

    Google Scholar 

  • Vieira J, Messing J (1982) The pUC plasmids, an M13mp7-derived system for insertional mutagenesis and sequencing with synthetic universal primers. Gene 19:269–276

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Additional information

Communicated by W. Goebel

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Schmieger, H., Taleghani, K.M., Meierl, A. et al. A molecular analysis of terminase cuts in headful packaging of Salmonella phage P22. Molec. Gen. Genet. 221, 199–202 (1990).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Key words