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Effect of salt shock on stability of lambdaimm434 lysogens

Effect of salt shock on stability of lambdaimm434 lysogens

Journal of Bacteriology 189(8): 3115-3123

The affinities of the bacteriophage 434 repressor for its various binding sites depend on the type and/or concentration of monovalent cations. The ability of bacteriophage 434 repressor to govern the lysis-lysogeny decision depends on the DNA binding activities of the phage's cl repressor protein. We wished to determine whether changes in the intracellular ionic environment influence the lysis-lysogeny decision of the bacteriophage lambda(imm434). Our findings show that the ionic composition within bacterial cells varies with the cation concentration in the growth media. When lambda(imm434) lysogens were grown to mid-log or stationary phase and subsequently incubated in media with increasing monovalent salt concentrations, we observed a salt concentration-dependent increase in the frequency of bacteriophage spontaneous induction. We also found that the frequency of spontaneous induction varied with the type of monovalent cation in the medium. The salt-dependent increase in phage production was unaffected by a recA mutation. These findings indicate that the salt-dependent increase in phage production is not caused by activation of the SOS pathway. Instead, our evidence suggests that salt stress induces this lysogenic bacteriophage by interfering with 434 repressor-DNA interactions. We speculate that the salt-dependent increase in spontaneous induction is due to a direct effect on the repressor's affinity for DNA. Regardless of the precise mechanism, our findings demonstrate that salt stress can regulate the phage lysis-lysogeny switch.

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Accession: 013694087

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 17307857

DOI: 10.1128/JB.01857-06

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