Bacteriophages specific for Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli were examined for their ability to multiply in stationary phase hosts. Four out of five bacteriophages tested, including E. coli bacteriophage T7M, were able to multiply in stationary phase hosts. The bacteriophage ACQ had a mean burst size of approximately 1000 in exponential phase P. aeruginosa hosts and 102 in starved hosts, with corresponding latent periods that increased from 65 to 210 min. The bacteriophage UT1 had a mean burst size of approximately 211 in exponential phase P. aeruginosa hosts and 11 in starved hosts, with latent periods that increased from a mean of 90 min in exponential phase hosts to 165 min in starved hosts. Bacteriophage multiplication occurred whether or not the hosts had entered stationary phase, either because the cultures had been incubated for 24 h or were starved. Significantly, bacteriophage multiplication occurred in P. aeruginosa, which had been starved for periods of 24 h, several weeks, or 5 years. Only one P. aeruginosa virus, BLB, was found to be incapable of multiplication in stationary phase hosts. These results reveal that starvation does not offer bacterial hosts refuge from bacteriophage infection and suggest that bacteriophages will be responsible for significant bacterial mortality in most natural ecosystems.
- Bacteriophage multiplication
- Stationary phase
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
- Molecular Biology