Results of the previous investigation in which it was found that DNA extracted from D29 mycobacteriophage was infectious for Mycobacterium smegmatis 607, have been extended. DNA extracted from mycobacteriophage D4 and D32 produced plaques when plated on their respective hosts; D28 DNA, extracted in the same manner and tested under similar conditions, failed to show infectivity. Species barriers were not crossed by mycobacteriophage DNA; bacteria resistant to intact phage were not infected with the phage DNA. The efficiency of plating of the DNA is very much lower than that of intact phage; infection of a given host was not accomplished by DNA when titration for plaque formation by the intact phage was less than 109 PFU.
The base composition of DNA extracted from the four mycobacteriophages and the three propagating hosts was very similar. The bases were paired, adenine with thymine and guanine with cytosine. A relatively higher per cent of guanine-cytosine than of adenine-thymine, was found. The buoyant density of each DNA in CsCl was linearly related to its guanine-cytosine content whereas with the exception of D28 DNA, thermal denaturation temperatures failed to show this relationship. However, the thermal transition profiles were characteristic of double stranded DNA.
Additional evidence that D29 DNA forms complexes with basic proteins was obtained. Binding between calf thymus histone and between RNAase and D29 DNA readily occurs with a resultant loss in DNA infectivity. Trypsin and D29 DNA are only weakly reactive.