Letter | Published:

Depressant Action of Cyanide on Recombination and Synthesis of Deoxyribonucleic Acid in Phage T4–Escherichia coli Complexes

Naturevolume 212pages538539 (1966) | Download Citation



ANALYSIS of phage T4 rII crosses by Tomizawa and Anraku1 has suggested that genetic recombination occurs and is stimulated in cyanide treated complexes. They have found similar recombinogenic effects in complexes exposed to arsenic pentoxide, sodium nitride or 2,4-dinitrophenol. These results have been interpreted in terms of genomic replication and recombination as separate processes. Depression of replication causes a change in metabolic processes stimulating recombination. Folsome's observations2 that phenethanol, a reversible inhibitor of phage and bacterial DNA synthesis3 and of bacterial messenger RNA synthesis4, completely blocks recombination and heterozygote formation in T4 rIIE. coli B complexes seem to contradict this hypothesis. The experiments of Tomizawa and Anraku1 have been repeated in an attempt to resolve these differences.

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  1. 1

    Tomizawa, J., and Anraku, N., J. Mol. Biol., 8, 508 (1964).

  2. 2

    Folsome, C. E., Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun., 11, 97 (1963).

  3. 3

    Konetzka, A. W., and Berrah, G., Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun., 8, 407 (1962).

  4. 4

    Rosenkranz, H., Carr, H. S., and Rose, H. M., J. Bact., 89, 1354 (1965).

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    Folsome, C. E., Genetics, 51, 391 (1965).

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    Levine, M., Virology, 13, 493 (1961).

  7. 7

    Clark, A. J., and Margulies, A. D., Proc. U.S. Nat. Acad. Sci., 53, 451 (1965).

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    Present address: Department of Bacteriology and Public Health, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington


  1. Pacific Biomedical Research Center, Microbiology Department, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii

    •  & C. E. FOLSOME


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