Recovery of Phage λ from Ultraviolet Damage
Recovery of phage λ from ultraviolet damage can occur, in the dark, through three types of repair processes as defined by microbiological tests: (1) host-cell reactivation, (2) prophage reactivation, and (3) UV reactivation. This paper reviews the properties of the three repair processes, analyzes their dependence on the functioning of bacterial and phage genes, and discusses their relationship.
Progress in the understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the three repair processes has been relatively slow, particularly for UV reactivation. It has been shown that host-cell reactivation is due to pyrimidine dimer excision and that prophage reactivation is due to genetic recombination (prereplicative).
We provide evidence showing that neither of these mechanisms accounts for UV reactivation of phage λ. Furthermore, UV reactivation differs from the other repair processes in that it is inducible and error-prone. Whether UV-damaged bacterial DNA is subject to a similar repair process is still an open question.
KeywordsRepair Process Pyrimidine Dime Phage Gene Repair Efficiency Phage Survival
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